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We’re doing a RCT on our online program for primary years

Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Ensuring all of our health services are evidence-based and effective in improving the health and wellbeing of families is our no.1 priority at Better Health Company. So, when we came across the opportunity to conduct a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) with Monash University on our online program for primary years, we were all in! Ethics has been approved and planning is well underway for the intervention to take place in 2022.
 
 
Our online program for primary years, otherwise known as Better Health Program, helps families become fitter, healthier and happier. It is specifically for children aged 7-13 years old who are above a healthy weight, however, the program encourages a whole family approach to health. We have been delivering Better Health Program to families in Western Australia since circa 2019, thanks to our funding partners Western Australia Department of Health and Western Australia Country Health Service.
 
For the RCT, we’re bringing Better Health Program to Victoria! And with our head office based in Melbourne, saying we’re excited about offering one of our programs in our home state is an understatement. Victorian families have the opportunity to join Better Health Program at no cost whatsoever.
 

So, how does Better Health Program work?
Over 10 weeks, children and families will participate in an intervention that includes;

  • Ten interactive online modules (both educational AND fun)
  • Weekly telehealth appointments from a qualified health professional (to help support behaviour change)
  • Three free resource packs (include posters, stickers, handouts, a Garmin fitness tracker and other physical activity equipment)
  • Weekly goals (which count towards a voucher prize of up to $70)

What outcomes have we seen from Better Health Program so far?
We have seen statistically significant changes from families who have completed Better Health Program to date, including:

  • Reduced average BMI
  • Increased hours of physical activity per week
  • Increased serves of fruit and vegetables per day
  • Increased water intake
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Reduced times spent on sedentary activities
  • Reduced sugary drink intake
  • Reduced intake of confectionery and take away foods

We can’t wait so see the outcomes of the RCT.

Who is eligible to participate in the RCT?
Families must have a child(ren) who meet the following inclusion criteria:

  • Aged 7-13 years
  • Above a healthy weight (BMI percentile >85thpercentile for age and sex)
  • Access to internet / electronic device
  • Parent/carer consent to participate in the research project whilst completing Better Health Program.
  • Live in Victoria, Australia.
How will the RCT work?
We are aiming to recruit 100 participants for the  RCT –50% intervention group (who will do Better Health Program straight away) and 50% waitlist control group (who will be given the opportunity to do Better Health Program after a short waiting period). For families, the research component involves completing some at-home surveys four times over an 18-month period (30-60 minutes at each time point). We will deliver Better Health Program in Victoria until we reach 100 participants. After that, any registered or referred participants will go onto our waitlist, and we will contact them once the program is funded in their area.
 
 
How can you sign up or refer?
We are accepting self-registrations and health professional referrals for children to participate in Better Health Program as part of the RCT.
 
Registrations and referral can be made directly on our website https://betterhealthprogram.org/
 
Or via:
Email: info@betterhealthcompany.org
Fax: 1300 325 301
Phone: 1300 822 953
 
If you work with children and families in a clinic, school or community organisation we’d love your help to spread the word about our Better Health Program RCT so that more eligible families can access this service.
 
Click here for referral forms, more information and access to promotional resources.
 
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