Implementation of the polycystic ovary syndrome guidelines: A mixed method study to inform the design and delivery of a lifestyle management program for women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: The 2018 evidence-based polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) guidelines recommend lifestyle management as first-line treatment. This study aims to understand the preferred intervention characteristics of a PCOS lifestyle program from the perspectives of women with PCOS to inform the translation of the guidelines into practice. Methods: Women with self-reported PCOS residing in Australia took part in semi-structured interviews (n = 20) and an online survey (n = 286). The survey and interview schedule were developed using the template for intervention description and replication checklist. Results: Women want to take part in a lifestyle program (94.6%) and use government-subsidised sessions to attend (83%). Sessions of 45 to 60 minutes (75%) costing less than AUD$50 are preferred (60%). Topics of most interest related to sustainable daily physical activity (58%), overcoming non-hungry eating (54%), PCOS-specific diets (51%) and how to overcome barriers to behaviour change (45%). A delivery mode that combines online and in-person support is preferred (53%). Women are in need of long-term professional lifestyle support (6-12 months) that provides evidence-based, PCOS-specific, personalised prescription. Multidisciplinary support from a range of PCOS-trained professions is also preferred to address women's physical, psychological and emotional needs. Conclusion: Women with PCOS are willing to take part in lifestyle programs that are low cost, long term, evidence based, PCOS-specific and provide practical strategies for nutrition and physical activity changes. Future online and in-person PCOS programs are strongly recommended to incorporate these findings to improve program engagement and patient satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-486
Number of pages11
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • health behavior
  • implementation science
  • mixed-methods
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

Cite this