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The Gestational Obesity Weight Management: Implementation of National Guidelines (GLOWING) study: a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicola HeslehurstORCiD, Catherine McParlin, Professor Falko Sniehotta, Professor Judith Rankin, Dr Lisa Crowe, Emerita Professor Elaine McCollORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© The Author(s) 2024.Background: Pregnancy weight management interventions can improve maternal diet, physical activity, gestational weight gain, and postnatal weight retention. UK guidelines were published in 2010 but health professionals report multiple complex barriers to practice. GLOWING used social cognitive theory to address evidence-based barriers to midwives’ implementation of weight management guidelines into routine practice. This paper reports the pilot trial outcomes relating to feasibility and acceptability of intervention delivery and trial procedures. Methods: GLOWING was a multi-centre parallel-group pilot cluster RCT comparing the delivery of a behaviour change intervention for midwives (delivered as training workshops) with usual practice. The clusters were four NHS Trusts in Northeast England, randomised to intervention or control arms. Blinding of allocation was not possible due to the nature of the intervention. We aimed to deliver the intervention to all eligible midwives in the intervention arm, in groups of 6 midwives per workshop, and to pilot questionnaire data collection for a future definitive trial. Intervention arm midwives’ acceptability of GLOWING content and delivery was assessed using a mixed methods questionnaire, and pregnant women’s acceptability of trial procedures by interviews. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively and qualitative data thematically. Results: In intervention arm Trusts, 100% of eligible midwives (n = 67) were recruited to, and received, the intervention; however, not all workshops had the planned number of attendees (range 3–8). The consent rate amongst midwives randomised (n = 100) to complete questionnaires was 74% (n = 74) (95% CI 65%, 83%), and overall completion rate 89% (n = 66) (95% CI 82%, 96%). Follow-up response rate was 66% (n = 49) (95% CI 55%, 77%), with a marked difference between intervention (39%, n = 15) and control (94%, n = 34) groups potentially due to the volume of research activities. Overall, 64% (n = 47) (95% CI 53%, 75%) completed both baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Midwives viewed the intervention as acceptable and directly relevant to routine practice. The least popular components related to scripted role-plays. Pregnant women viewed the recruitment and trial processes to be acceptable. Conclusions: This rigorously conducted pilot study demonstrated feasibility intervention delivery and a high level of acceptability amongst participants. It has provided information required to refine the intervention and trial protocol, enhancing confidence that a definitive trial could be carried out. Trial registration: ISRCTN46869894; retrospectively registered 25th May 2016,

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heslehurst N, McParlin C, Sniehotta FF, Rankin J, Crowe L, McColl E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Pilot and Feasibility Studies

Year: 2024

Volume: 10

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 01/03/2024

Acceptance date: 12/01/2024

Date deposited: 19/03/2024

ISSN (electronic): 2055-5784

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd


DOI: 10.1186/s40814-024-01450-2


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Funder referenceFunder name
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)