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Table 6 Factors influencing attendance – Themes identified from intervention officer interviews/journal notes

From: Factors influencing participation in a vascular disease prevention lifestyle program among participants in a cluster randomized trial

Theme / Description Illustrative quotes
Program Endorsement:
Endorsement and encouragement to attend by GPs, PNs and Intervention Officers
“Basically their GP had said to them “we’re, I really think that you should partake in this program” and it was just a, a process of actually…once I got them on the phone basically pretty much talking them into it” (IO5- metro site)
including physical access (transport/parking), session times and flexibility in program delivery
“Being an urban area, many people rely on alternative transport such as public transport. This barrier was overcome by offering people who did not drive (or who could not drive at night) cab-charges to the sessions” (IO5- metro site).
“Geographical isolation was a huge issue for patients especially those on properties out of the area” (IO1 – rural site).
“people aged 40 to 59 they’re generally working… There’s not many who aren’t…so you’re trying to get them to come to these sessions at night…And they’ve been at work all day…”(IO5- metro site).
“I did after hours sessions for people who worked. I did different days of the week to suit all different patients…
I’d try and catch up, do one on ones or if I couldn’t do that I’d chat with them over the phone, send them information and follow up” (IO1- rural site).
Patient factors: gender, age and working status, patient risk perception and motivation and weight status “I would say the female participants seemed to work better....Take it on board …I couldn’t really compare it because …I didn’t have enough males participating” (IO3 – metro site).
“you have a lot more luck talking to people who were …retired or semi retired” (IO5- metro site).
“[attendance was better amongst ] the older participants....I guess it, it was more apparent that they needed to make changes otherwise they were going to shorten – their life span…because …they’re overweight or sedate” (IO3- metro site).
“Patients with large BMIs (greater then 35) tended to not participate well in the walking or exercise section of CHANGE sessions” (Journal notes- IO2 rural site).
Social factors: partner attendance, social interaction and group member familiarity and group leader facilitation skills “Look a lot of people wouldn’t have come unless they could bring their partner along” (IO5- metro site).
  ‘Cause I presented it as if I was taking part in the program as well…– I had my own pedometer… did the walks myself and modified my diet as well....we had a very good rapport amongst ourselves....I think taking the time to develop that was an essential part of a good outcome rather than being sort of …there’s the, the teacher and the students (IO3 – metro site).