High rates of participant drop-out are a problem in many health promotion programs, with research showing that those who complete such programs have better outcomes. This is the case for the Get Healthy Service (GHS), a telephone health coaching service delivered free of charge to adults in NSW to assist them to be active, eat healthy and lose weight. This Partnership Project aims to improve GHS retention (i.e., program completion) rates without compromising the effectiveness of the GHS in improving weight loss and related behaviours. Retention strategies will be evaluated in the context of a randomised, controlled trial, with results used to inform changes to GHS service delivery. Partners in this project include the NSW Ministry of Health, Healthdirect, Healthways Australia (the GHS service provider), along with the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney.

The project will be carried out in three phases:

1)  Identify evidence-based strategies to improve GHS retention (this formative work has been completed) and adapt GHS protocols and infrastructure to
incorporate them;

2)  Evaluate retention strategies in the context of a randomised, controlled trial;

3)  Use results to inform changes to GHS delivery – with results having application to other population-based telephonic and health promotion services, which
also commonly suffer from low retention.

Project members 

Chief Investigators

Professor Elizabeth Eakin - The University of Queensland (School of Public Health)
Dr Brianna Fjeldsoe - The University of Queensland (School of Public Health)
Dr Ana Goode - The University of Queensland (School of Public Health)
Professor Adrian Bauman - The University of Sydney (School of Public Health)
Associate Professor Philayrath Phongsavan - The University of Sydney (School of Public Health)
Dr Blythe O'Hara - The University of Sydney (School of Public Health)
Dr Lennert Veerman - Queensland University of technology (School of Public Health)

Project members

Professor Elizabeth Eakin

Associate Dean (Research)
Faculty of Medicine
Professor
School of Public Health

Dr Brianna Fjeldsoe

Senior Lecturer
School of Public Health

Dr Ana Goode

Research Fellow
School of Public Health