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Core Elements

This section outlines the aspects of an intervention that are central to its theory and logic and that are thought to be responsible for the intervention’s effectiveness.  Core elements are critical features of the intervention’s intent and design and should be kept intact when the intervention is implemented or adapted. 

  1. Multiple contacts: The intervention consists of multiple sessions. Multiple contacts offer more opportunities for skill-building and providing feedback, which facilitate behavior change. (It is recommended that the weight loss intervention include at least 10-12 weekly sessions, which would enable sufficient time for most women to lose approximately 5% of their initial body weight [about 1 pound per week], and thus achieve a clinically meaningful weight loss.)

  2. Social support via group interaction: Group sessions provide opportunities for peer support and reinforcement; participants can discuss their progress toward behavior changes and receive support and suggestions from other members of the group. Social bonds formed among participants also encourage attendance at future sessions.

  3. Motivational interviewing skills: Session leaders are trained in the use of motivational interviewing techniques to engage participants and guide problem-solving.

  4. Goal-setting & action-planning: At the end of each session, participants engage in goal-setting and action-planning activities. They set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals to work on over the next week and identify the strategies they will adopt to reach their goals.

  5. Self-monitoring: Participants are encouraged to routinely monitor behavior change goals between weekly sessions by daily recording key dietary and physical activity behaviors.