HumanInsight Effectiveness of a complex, pre-conception intervention to reduce the risk of diabetes by reducing adiposity in young adults in Malaysia: The Jom Mama project - A randomised controlled trial
J Glob Health. 2022 Aug 17;12:04053. doi: 10.7189/jogh.12.04053.
BACKGROUND: Pre-conception interventions have the potential to lower non-communicable disease risk in prospective parents and reduce transmission of risk factors such as obesity to the next generation. The Jom Mama project in Malaysia investigated the effectiveness of a combined behaviour change communication and e-health intervention in young married couples prior to first pregnancy. This paper reports the evaluation of the effectiveness of this trial.
METHODS: Jom Mama was a non-blinded, randomised controlled trial (RCT) conducted in Seremban, Malaysia, over a period of 33 weeks, covering six contact points between trained community health workers and newly married couples before the conception of a first child. Out of 2075 eligible nulliparous women, 549 participated and 305 completed the intervention, with 145 women in the intervention and 160 in the control group. The intervention group received a complex behavioural change intervention, combining behaviour change communication provided by community health promoters and access to a habit formation mobile application, while the control group received the standard care provided by public health clinics in Malaysia. The primary outcome was a change in the woman's waist circumference. Secondary outcomes were anthropometric and metabolic measures, dietary intake (Food Frequency Questionnaire, FFQ), physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire, IPAQ) and mental health (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, DASS 21). An extensive process evaluation was conducted alongside the trial in order to aid the interpretation of the main findings.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences of change in the woman's waist circumference between intervention and control groups at the start and end of the intervention. While the weight, waist circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI) of women in both groups increased, there was a significantly lower increase in the intervention vs the control group over the period of the trial among women who are obese (0.1 kg vs 1.7 kg; P = 0.023, in the intervention and control group respectively). In terms of BMI, the obese intervention subgroup showed a slight reduction (0.01) compared to the obese control subgroup whose BMI increased by 0.7 (P = 0.015). There were no changes in the other secondary outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: The Jom Mama pre-conception intervention did not lead to a reduction in waist circumference or significant changes in other secondary outcomes over the eight months prior to conception. However, there was a significantly smaller weight gain in the intervention vs the control group, predominantly in women with pre-existing obesity.
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