Parent Recommendations to Enhance Enrollment in Multidisciplinary Clinical Care for Pediatric Weight Management

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Abstract

Objective

To explore parents’ recommendations to enhance enrollment in multidisciplinary clinical care for managing pediatric obesity.

Study design

Data for this interpretative description study were collected through individual, semistructured interviews that were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically. Parents (n = 79) were recruited from 4 multidisciplinary weight management clinics in Canada located in Edmonton, Hamilton, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Results

Most interviewed parents had children with obesity (body mass index ≥95th percentile; 84.2%), were female (87.3%), had postsecondary education (69.6%), and were white (75.9%). Parents’ recommendations referred to enrollment opportunities, information about obesity services, motivation for treatment, and accessibility to obesity services. Specifically, parents recommended to increase referral options and follow-up contacts with families during the enrollment process, inform referring physicians and families about the availability and characteristics of obesity services, enhance families’ motivation for treatment, prevent families from getting discouraged, make services more appealing to families, and address accessibility issues (eg, offering multiple options for appointment times, providing support for transportation).

Conclusions

Parents’ recommendations support the need for family-centered approaches to enhance enrollment; however, their feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness remain to be tested empirically.

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