Healthy Mothers Healthy Families, Health Promoting Activity Coaching for mothers of children with a disability: Exploring mothers' perspectives of programme feasibility

Vanessa Harris, Helen M. Bourke-Taylor, Monica Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health Promoting Activity Coaching, an intervention within the Healthy Mothers Healthy Families programme (HMHF-HPAC), was delivered by occupational therapists in a project that assessed feasibility of this new intervention. The HMHF-HPAC promotes the health and well-being of mothers of children with disabilities and is a six-session programme with website, workbook, and one-on-one coaching. Consumer experiences of this novel health-promoting intervention were sought to enable consumer-informed feedback for future modifications and improvements prior to further development. Methods: This qualitative study explored the experiences of mothers who participated in the HMHF-HPAC and their perspectives on the service delivery, content and impact. This study was embedded within an overarching feasibility study and was conducted parallel to a quantitative component. Seven mothers who completed the HMHF-HPAC participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed thematically using a six-stage thematic approach. Findings: Four key themes emerged: Recognising Mothers; From Vulnerability to Empowerment; A Goal for Me; and Perspectives on Content and Delivery. Mothers reported increased participation in health-promoting activities over the duration of HMHF-HPAC, reflective of their individual needs. Mothers described improved mood and energy levels, reduced stress and anxiety, greater self-awareness, and increased engagement in leisure activities with their children. Health-promoting goals identified by mothers' pertained to improving physical activity levels, healthy dietary changes, sleep quality and duration, community engagement, and mindfulness activities. Mothers reported that their child's occupational therapists, the website, and workbook were acceptable and viable. Conclusions: Mothers' experiences support the feasibility of embedding the HMHF-HPAC programme into occupational therapy services directed towards child and family-focused interventions. Mothers found occupational therapists to be acceptable facilitators of the HMHF-HPAC, given the frequent interactions and rapport with mothers and the occupational underpinnings of the programme. The HMHF-HPAC is an accessible intervention that promotes family-oriented practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-675
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • carers
  • children with disability
  • health behaviours
  • health promotion
  • maternal health
  • mental health
  • mothers
  • occupational therapy

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