Public health stakeholder engagement is integral to developing effective public health interventions. The perspectives of women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have often been sought when designing WIC-based interventions; however, the perspectives of WIC providers are underrepresented. The goal of this investigation was to explore the experiences of WIC providers who counsel adolescent clients and to identify strategies for recruitment, retention, and engagement of adolescents in an antenatal exercise intervention. Qualitative interviews were conducted with WIC providers (N = 9) in the Mississippi Delta, a rural, predominantly African American region in northwest Mississippi. From our data emerged 4 themes and 4 hypothesized strategies for recruitment, retention, and engagement of adolescent WIC clients and their parents in a future antenatal exercise intervention that will be implemented through WIC. Engaging the perspectives of WIC providers was a critical first step in understanding the context for this intervention.
John D. Bower School of Population Health (Drs Gamble and Beech), Mylie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities (Drs Gamble and Beech), Mississippi Center for Obesity Research (Ms Saulters and Dr Jones), Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research (Dr Gamble and Ms Saulters), and School of Medicine (Dr Gamble and Ms Cranston), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi; and Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Center for Obesity Research and Education, College of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Dr Herring).
Correspondence: Abigail Gamble, PhD, MS, John D. Bower School of Population Health and Mylie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State St, Jackson, MS 30216 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award no. 1U54GM115428; and the Medical Student Research Program, School of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center. Abigail Gamble received pilot study funding from the Mississippi Center for Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Mississippi Medical Center to support a percentage of her time to conduct this research. The investigative team acknowledges and thanks the Mississippi Special Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children for their continued partnership and specifically for their participation in this qualitative formative research. The team would also like to acknowledge the support of the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities, University of Mississippi Medical Center.
The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
The authors have indicated that they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
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