235488 Health promotion, physical activity, nutrition and participation for children with special healthcare needs and their families

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Katie McSloy , School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Margaret O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH , Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Philadelphia, PA
Renee Turchi, MD, MPH , College of Medicine, School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia
Diana Abdalla , Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia
Background: Approximately 14% of children in the US are children with special health care needs (CSHCN). A majority of CSHCN, (57.4%) have difficulty with bodily function, 49.3% have activity limitations and 41.9% have emotional or behavioral difficulties. CSHCN have decreased physical activity and increased sedentary behaviors. CSHCN often have difficulty eating. This project aims to describe CSHCN on: 1) physical activity (PA) 2) eating habits; 3) weight status; and 4) community resources. Methods: A convenience sample of parent-child pairs (n=17) were recruited from a clinic for CSHCN. Most children were boys (71%), mean age 9.9 years (SD=4.7). Most were diagnosed with asthma, autism or CP. Interviews were conducted to inform PA, eating habits and community resources. Blood pressure, heart rate, waist-hip circumference and body mass index (BMI) age-for-sex percentile and BMI z-scores were measured on children. Results: Preliminary data analysis suggests that on average, girls are obese (BMI-percentile = 93, BMI z-score = 2.46) but boys have healthy weight (BMI percentile = 66, BMI z-score = 0.98). CSHCN achieve 60 minutes of PA on an average of 5.13 (SD=1.8) days/week and spend 4.75 hours of screen time/weekday. Preliminary data on eating habits show CSHCN consume a high-fat, high-sugar diet. Some parents (29%) do not perceive their neighborhood as a good place to raise a child and many identified needing more playgrounds, after school programs, and healthier food stores. Conclusion: Future research is indicated to understand health behaviors, community resource needs to promote PA, and healthy eating for CSHCN.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
List general demographics of CSHCN in the US Describe health behaviors of the study sample of CSHCN Describe recommendations and programs to promote physical activity and healthy eating for CSHCN

Keywords: Children With Special Needs, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a second year MPH student, well versed in the field, created the majority of the protocol development myself, and have collected a majority of the data myself.
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.