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Table 2 Participant recommendations to improve future healthy lifestyle program engagement (qualitative data)

From: Engaging rural women in healthy lifestyle programs: insights from a randomized controlled trial

Recommendations Explanations Key quotes
Obtain community support and involve the community in the promotion of the program • This will improve the social acceptability of the program being implemented “I probably think if you had a local assisting…you’d have more of an (engagement). It’s like going to a Tupperware party. You go because, you know, you feel obliged”
• If the program was promoted via a local community member this would increase community obligation to participate
“Word of mouth…if you could get hold of a couple of people beforehand to act as your agents, to try and rope people in”
Advertise the program regularly via multiple channels (written and verbal) to ensure women receive maximal exposure to the program promotion • Many women reported needing to see and hear about the program multiple times prior to enrollment “You know, it’s reading the flyer and reading it every day and seeing it… [then thinking]..I’ve got to go and do this and make time for it”
Host multiple program sessions within a range of socio-cultural settings and networks • Holding numerous sessions at multiple venues will increase program reach among diverse social networks “Maybe a few smaller sessions at the different schools”
This will ensure people “don’t feel like [they] are going too much into somebody else’s territory”
Provide healthy lifestyle incentives (e.g., gym session, fruit platters and discounted gym memberships) • May increase individual’s motivation to participate “I was thinking maybe you could tee-up, like, a fitness session…beforehand or after the session, like a reward”
• Provides an additional opportunity to promote healthy lifestyle
“You come to this [program], you get a free gym session”