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; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication 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.

Keywords

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

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

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Postgraduate medical journal

PubMed ID

25814510