Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

Iterative development of MobileMums: a physical activity intervention for women with young children

Brianna S Fjeldsoe1, Yvette D Miller2, Jasmine L O’Brien3 and Alison L Marshall3*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Population Health, Cancer Prevention Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia

2 School of Psychology, Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia

3 School of Public Health, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012, 9:151  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-151

Published: 20 December 2012



To describe the iterative development process and final version of ‘MobileMums’: a physical activity intervention for women with young children (<5 years) delivered primarily via mobile telephone (mHealth) short messaging service (SMS).


MobileMums development followed the five steps outlined in the mHealth development and evaluation framework: 1) conceptualization (critique of literature and theory); 2) formative research (focus groups, n= 48); 3) pre-testing (qualitative pilot of intervention components, n= 12); 4) pilot testing (pilot RCT, n= 88); and, 5) qualitative evaluation of the refined intervention (n= 6).


Key findings identified throughout the development process that shaped the MobileMums program were the need for: behaviour change techniques to be grounded in Social Cognitive Theory; tailored SMS content; two-way SMS interaction; rapport between SMS sender and recipient; an automated software platform to generate and send SMS; and, flexibility in location of a face-to-face delivered component.


The final version of MobileMums is flexible and adaptive to individual participant’s physical activity goals, expectations and environment. MobileMums is being evaluated in a community-based randomised controlled efficacy trial (ACTRN12611000481976).

Mobile phone; Exercise; Postnatal; mHealth; Text messaging; SMS