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Journal Article

Developing a Patient-Centered Outcome for Targeting Early Childhood Obesity Across Multiple Stakeholders

By Foster B, Winkler P, Weinstein K, Parra-Medina D


Background: Patient-centered outcome measures for childhood obesity are limited. Identifying outcomes that patients and families consider important could be a viable avenue for better engagement of patients and interventions that are efficacious and acceptable to patients. Latino children experience high rates of obesity, and under-recognition of obesity in preschool aged children is common.

Methods: We used growth chart data to identify low-income, Latino children 2–5 years of age with obesity who decreased their adiposity (positive deviants) and a set of controls. We used qualitative interview data to identify themes around goals parents used in addressing weight. Then, we applied a modified Delphi approach across groups of caregivers and providers to identify common goals. We conducted focus groups to explore conflicts and congruency between caregivers and providers related to goals. Using the focus group data, we developed a decision tool for use between patients and providers relevant for early childhood obesity.

Results: We identified 257 children who successfully reduced adiposity (positive deviants) from 1621 eligible growth charts. From interviews with 44 parents (21 positive deviants and 23 controls), we coded and categorized outcomes such as increased happiness, clothing size and improved activity. We recruited 81 parents, grandparents and health care providers to participate in the modified Delphi process of ranking outcomes by importance and feasibility. Focus groups (2, total n = 24) suggested potential methods for a common framework to discuss goals, including a modified growth chart. We created a decision-tool that incorporated a growth chart and a section for discussion of patient-centered goals. A final focus group (1, n = 10) provided feedback on the tool as acceptable and potentially useful.

Conclusions: The development of a patient-centered tool around achieving a healthy weight in early childhood identified common goals between providers and parents. While the tool has been developed, prospective testing of this patient-centered tool and its effects on engagement, parent motivation, and behavior change would be a useful next step.

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Date Added
February 10, 2019

Foster B, Winkler P, Weinstein K, Parra-Medina D (2018) Developing a Patient-Centered Outcome for Targeting Early Childhood Obesity Across Multiple Stakeholders. BMC Obesity: Vol. 5, Issue 39. Available online: https://bmcobes.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40608-018-0216-2