Background

Healthy Dads Healthy Kids (HDHK) was the first obesity prevention intervention for fathers and had positive outcomes in Australia. The aim was to assess the feasibility of implementing an adapted version of HDHK to Hispanic families in southwestern US.

Methods

A randomized wait-list controlled trial with a process evaluation was conducted to assess the feasibility of implementing the program and study. Fathers, their partner (mother) and 1-3 children were enrolled. A priori feasibility criteria were: a) Recruit 40 Hispanic fathers and their families in ≤ 4 m (months); b) Retain 80% of participants for pre- and post-assessments (4 m later); c) Maintain ≥70% attendance to program sessions; d) obtain 80% ‘excellent’-‘good’ satisfaction from participants who attended the program; and e) collect anthropometric and behavioral data on ≥75% of participants at baseline and follow up.

Results

In 4 m we recruited and screened in-person 44 Hispanic families, and enrolled 36 families who qualified. 64% of fathers had not completed high school, 83% spoke only Spanish at home, and 89% were born outside of the US. Baseline data were collected on 36 fathers, 64 children and 35 mothers, with complete data on 86% (5 families missing some accelerometer data). 19 families were randomized to the intervention and 17 to the control group. Attendance to the 10 week intervention was 56% for the whole intervention group, and 76% for those that started the program and did not drop out (N=14). 100% of fathers and mothers rated HDHK excellent or good (excellent by 92% of fathers). 27 (75%) participated in some aspect of the post-assessment, with 26 (72.2%) having most data collected (2 with missing accelerometer data for some family members).

Conclusions

The culturally adapted HDHK reached a high-risk sample of Hispanic families. The study met some, but not all feasibility criteria. With adjustment to recruitment and retention the program should be evaluated in an efficacy trial.