Exploratory research to design a school nurse-delivered intervention to treat adolescent overweight and obesity

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; Female; Focus Groups; Food Habits; Health Promotion; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Obesity; Overweight; Parents; School Nursing; Social Behavior


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Preventive Medicine


OBJECTIVE: In preparation for a pilot study to evaluate the efficacy of a school nurse-delivered intervention, focus groups were conducted to gain insight into the perceptions of stakeholders regarding the design and implementation of the intervention.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen focus groups at participating schools. One hundred subjects, including overweight and obese high school students, parents, high school nurses, and staff.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Stakeholders' perceptions.

ANALYSIS: Focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Theme instances related to the research aim were identified, coded, and sorted into theme categories.

RESULTS: Major topics discussed included teen issues, family support, intervention implementation-related concerns, and curriculum content. Teen issues included dealing with peer pressure, avoiding emotional eating, and support from friends. Many participants thought it should be the teen's choice to involve parents. Confidentiality was the most commonly identified potential barrier to implementation. Recommendations for nutrition and physical activity curriculum content focused on concrete, practical strategies.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Results of this research provided insight into stakeholder's needs and perceptions regarding the content and structure of a school nurse-delivered intervention to treat adolescent overweight and obesity. Findings were used in the design and implementation of intervention protocols and materials. Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI of Published Version



J Nutr Educ Behav. 2012 Jan-Feb;44(1):46-54. Epub 2011 Oct 1. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of nutrition education and behavior

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID