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Across the lifespan - Prevention

Designing, developing and implementing preventive strategies to effectively improve health outcomes that are sustainable, cost effective and broadly applicable for public health impact across the population.

Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic disease and mortality worldwide and is a complex public health issue affecting almost all age and socioeconomic groups. Global obesity rates have tripled over the past four decades with a majority of adults currently estimated to have overweight or obesity.

Weight gain increases progressively in most adults, estimated to be less than 1 kg per yr. As such, there is a strong mandate for efforts to prevent weight gain, requiring minor lifestyle changes to shift the energy balance, and is applicable to all population groups. Preventive efforts are considered more feasible, cost effective and sustainable compared with established treatment options.

Evidence-based preventive interventions that are pragmatic, integrated into healthcare and community settings are urgently needed. We develop and deliver strategies focused on prevention across the spectrum of women’s health and in various settings in partnership with key stakeholders

Implementation & Impact

Our healthy lifestyle program demonstrates efficacy in trials of >6000 women to date. It is effective in differing populations (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse [CALD]) and across diverse settings (urban, rural, antenatal care, community), has received National recognition, is low-intensity, cost effective, optimises health behaviour and prevents weight gain, with greatest benefit in non-obese populations. The significance of this program is validated on individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis with associated reduction in adverse outcomes. Grounded in social cognitive theory, HeLPher is a non-prescriptive, self-management lifestyle intervention. It is underpinned by individual health priority identification, goal setting, self-efficacy, problem solving, action planning and self-monitoring for sustained behaviour change. How it is delivered (face-to-face, remotely, individually or group), who delivers it, where it is delivered, its frequency (number of sessions) and resources (written or digital) can be flexible and contextually adapted.

Current Projects
  • Impact Bump2Baby
  • Royal Hobart Hospital Foundation
  • Western Health
  • Monash Health 
  • Medibank Private Ltd
  • International women in pregnancy consortium (iWIP)
  • Global Health in Preconception and Pregnancy (HiPP) Alliance
  • Digital Health
  • Risk prediction
  • Gestational weight gain modelling
To deliver health impact, we use the following MCHRI platforms
  • Community and stakeholder partnership 
  • Clinical and public Health interventions & trials 
  • Big data and the Learning Health System. 
  • Implementation, healthcare improvement 
  • Health economics 
  • Research Translation & guidelines
  • Digital health