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Nobles, JD; Griffiths, C; Pringle, A; Staniford, LJ; Gately, PJ (2016)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Background: Childhood weight management programmes (WMP) are used within the UK to stem the rising prevalence of pediatric obesity. These WMPs often provide children and young people (CYP) and their family’s with methods of stabilising and reducing the severity of the weight issue. That said, low engagement in WMPs is often encountered but the reasoning is not well known. Misaligned and unrealistic outcome expectations have been hypothesised as a reason for low engagement. This paper explores 1) the parent and CYP outcome expectations of a WMP, and 2) the qualitative level of agreement between parent and CYP expectations. Methods: 30 families were recruited from three, UK-based WMPs (10 families per programme). Qualitative research methods were used to examine both the parent and CYP outcome expectations. Participatory research methods were used with CYP and semi-structured interviews with parents. Data were collected from parents and CYP independently, and notably, were collected from participants within two weeks of starting a WMP. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. In separate analyses, the alignment between parent and CYP responses were examined. Results: Preliminary findings indicate that parents reported 24 different outcome expectations (varying from ‘anger management’ to ‘weight management [not loss]’ to ‘understanding consequences of obesity’), whilst CYP reported 25 expectations (ranging from ‘aesthetic improvement’ to ‘physical activity opportunities’ to ‘not wanting to attend’). Weight loss was the most cited outcome expectation amongst parents and CYP, however friendship, CYP confidence, dietary education, and the reinforcement of parent messages were also strongly cited. Of note, weight loss was not always cited as the primary outcome expectation. The qualitative level of agreement between CYP and parents shall be reported. Conclusions: Families do not always initiate a WMP for the sole purpose of weight loss and management. Practitioners would benefit from understanding what families hope to achieve during their attendance, and subsequently tailor the programme, comments and feedback to reflect this. By tailoring messages and feedback directly to the family expectations, families may see a greater benefit in WMP attendance and therefore be encouraged to persist in treatment. Attendance and weight-related outcomes are strongly correlated.

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