University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

Title

Parent preferences for telephone coaching to prevent and manage childhood obesity

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Date

4-1-2015

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Pediatrics | Preventive Medicine

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess parent preferences for utilisation of a parent-focused, telephone-based coaching service, or 'FITLINE,' to prevent or manage childhood obesity.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of parents of children aged 2-12 years was conducted at a paediatric practice in Greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA, between July 2012 and May 2013. Parents received questionnaires with clinic visit paperwork and opted-in to the study by returning them to clinic staff or by mail. The anonymous pen-to-paper questionnaire assessed parents' potential FITLINE utilisation, preferences regarding educational content and logistics, and parent/child demographics. Simple logistical regression was used to assess associations between parent and child factors and FITLINE interest.

RESULTS: Among n=114 participants, most parents reported being very likely (n=53, 48%) or somewhat likely (n=44, 40%) to use a FITLINE-promoting healthy habits for children if it was made available. Interest in a FITLINE was greatest among overweight or obese parents (OR 3.12, CI 1.17 to 8.30) and those with children aged < 5 years (OR 2.42, CI 1.02 to 5.73). Parents desired to discuss their own health and fitness goals (84%) along with educational topics such as healthy food shopping on a budget (91%) and how to meet children's physical activity needs (81%). Most parents preferred to obtain a FITLINE referral from a paediatrician or nurse (73%), instead of a school nurse (42%) or child-care provider (26%).

CONCLUSIONS: Given strong interest among parents in a FITLINE and the urgency of the youth obesity epidemic, implementation of a pilot phone-based service should be strongly considered.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Postgrad Med J. 2015 Apr;91(1074):206-11. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2014-132928. Epub 2015 Mar 26. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Keywords

pediatrics, preventive medicine, primary care, public health, obesity

PubMed ID

25814510