Acceptability and feasibility of CIRCUS: An online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy intervention for multiple health behaviours in women


  • Sally Hunt University of Newcastle
  • Ursula Horton University of Newcastle
  • Penny Buykx University of Newcastle
  • Emma Beckett University of Newcastle


Background: Australian women have experienced increased stress recently due to competing roles that women fulfill, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women who experience higher stress levels are more likely to engage in sub-optimal health behaviours. By providing support to manage stress, low mood, and the realities facing women, we aim to reduce reliance on unhelpful coping strategies such as alcohol use, sedentary behaviour, and poor nutrition. eHealth is an ideal platform for deploying such support as it overcomes the structural, geographical and social barriers to accessing health care. CIRCUS is a 7-module eHealth intervention developed in consultation with Australian women and has been tailored to their needs.

Aims: This study evaluates the acceptability and feasibility of the CIRCUS intervention for use by Australian women.

Methods: Women aged over 18-years completed an online baseline assessment of multiple health behaviours and then trialled CIRCUS for 3-weeks. Participants provided feedback on elements of the intervention content, design and presentation at a 3-week follow-up. Website analytics also recorded number of visits to the CIRCUS site.

Results: 190 women consented to the study with 73 completing the baseline assessment and 44 accessing the CIRCUS intervention online. 15 completed the 3-week follow-up assessment. Satisfaction and usage data will be reported.

Conclusions: The majority of those who accessed CIRCUS were satisfied with its content and format, however, the low transition of participants from baseline assessment to use of the intervention and to follow-up suggest modifications to the methodology are necessary.