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O31 Determining Low-Income Fathers’ Preferred mHealth Nutrition-Related Topics, Features, and Delivery Methods

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      Background

      There is limited evidence about fathers’ preferences related to using mHealth tools to receive nutrition and obesity prevention information for their preschool aged children.

      Objective

      The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine fathers’ preferred mHealth nutrition-related topics, features, and delivery methods.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Low-income fathers (n = 29) of preschool aged children from 2 US states were individually interviewed by a trained research assistant using a semi-structured interview script.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Interview questions were based on the Theory of Planned Behavior to determine fathers’ subjective norms, preferences, and attitudes towards mHealth tools, content and video preferences, and behavioral intentions related to using mHealth tools. The classic analysis approach was used to determine major themes from transcribed interviews. Descriptive statistics of participants were derived from a demographics questionnaire.

      Results

      Fathers were, on average, 36 years old, and the majority were non-White (69%) and non-Hispanic (79%), with almost half having a high school education or less (48%). Overall themes indicated that fathers preferred mHealth tools such as an app, social media, videos, text messages, and email. There were mixed opinions on the use of memes and GIFs. Requested topics included healthy eating, child feeding, meal preparation, food safety, physical activity, and mental health related information. Features should include practical tips, meal plans, recipes, a calendar with healthy lifestyle reminders, options to connect with other fathers, and personalization for their child. Content should be short, funny, appealing, engaging, informational, beneficial, and include visuals, yet be credible, relatable, and straightforward. Frequency of information should be posted or shared every day or at least once or twice a week.

      Conclusion

      The use of an app or social media to communicate healthy eating and child feeding information to low-income fathers of preschool age children may be a viable nutrition education strategy.

      Funding

      NIFA.