Online Program

Development of a telephone intervention for families of overweight and obese children seen in pediatric primary care: Enhancing health communication

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Gioia Persuitte, MPA, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Worcester, MA
Alan Geller, MPH; RN, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Barbara Olendzki, RD, MPH, Health Statistics and Geography Lab, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Susan Druker, M.A., Division of Preventive & Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Bruce Barton, PhD, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Lori Pbert, Ph.D., Division of Preventive & Behavioral Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Background Childhood obesity is a major public health issue. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a staged approach to manage child overweight and obesity in the pediatric primary care setting. The AAP suggests pediatric providers refer families for nutrition and activity counseling to a centralized referral center, with an emphasis on communication of modifiable health behaviors to the patient's family. Methods A telephone-based referral program to which pediatric providers may refer the parents of their overweight or obese patients (ages 8-12) for counseling was developed. The six-session FITLINE, delivered by registered dietitians, provides information and support for behavior change consistent with the AAP guidelines for Prevention Plus and is designed to facilitate health communication on three levels: (1) between the referring provider and the patient's family, (2) between the dietitian and family, providing a crucial communication tool to educate and assist families in making healthy choices for weight reduction and maintenance, and (3) between the dietitian and referring provider regarding the outcome of the counseling delivered. Twenty families with an overweight or obese child ages 8-12 will be recruited from a pediatric practice; the child's diet, level of physical activity, and BMI will be assessed pre-post parent participation in the FITLINE program. Results The pilot study is ongoing with preliminary results available in April 2013. Conclusion If found effective, the FITLINE telephone program would be applicable to health service providers seeking to improve communication concerning healthy lifestyle factors that modify weight among overweight or obese children.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Define the purpose of the FITLINE referral-based telephone counseling intervention. Describe the target population for the intervention

Keyword(s): Child Health, Health Communications

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a researcher for the Center for Applied Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts Medical School focusing on nutritional management of chronic diseases and conditions including diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. I am currently in my first year as a doctoral student studying Clinical and Population Health Research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.