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OBJECTIVE: Child and adolescent obesity continues to be a major health issue internationally. This study aims to understand the views and experiences of caregivers and participants in a child and adolescent multidisciplinary programme for healthy lifestyle change. DESIGN: Qualitative focus group study. SETTING: Community-based healthy lifestyle intervention programme in a mixed urban-rural region of Aotearoa/New Zealand. PARTICIPANTS: Parents/caregivers (n=6) and children/adolescents (n=8) who participated in at least 6 months of an assessment and weekly session, family-based community intervention programme for children and adolescents affected by obesity. RESULTS: Findings covered participant experiences, healthy lifestyle changes due to participating in the programme, the delivery team, barriers to engagement and improvements. Across these domains, four key themes emerged from the focus groups for participants and their caregivers relating to their experience: knowledge-sharing, enabling a family to become self-determining in their process to achieve healthy lifestyle change; the importance of connectedness and a family-based programme; the sense of a collective journey and the importance of a nonjudgemental, respectful welcoming environment. Logistical challenges and recommendations for improvement were also identified. CONCLUSIONS: Policymakers need to consider the experiences of participants alongside quantitative outcomes when informing multidisciplinary intervention programmes for children and adolescents affected by obesity.Trial registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR):12611000862943; Post-results.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





community child health, paediatrics, qualitative research, Adolescent, Australia, Caregivers, Child, Focus Groups, Healthy Lifestyle, Humans, New Zealand