260170 Empowerment as a Proximal Outcome of an Obesity Prevention Intervention Designed by Families for Families

Monday, October 29, 2012

Janine M. Jurkowski, PhD, MPH , Health Policy, Management, & Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Lisa GreenPope, BSN , Health Policy, Management, & Behavior, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Paul Wilner II, PhD candidate , Education, University at Albany, Albany, NY
Ronald Quartimon, MPA , Capital District, Commission on Economic Opportunities, Troy, NY
Kaigang Li, PhD , Prevention Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD
Hal Lawson, PhD , School of Social Welfare, University at Albany, Albany, NY
Kirsten Davison, PhD , Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Obesity has short and long term physical and psychological health consequences and disproportionately affects low income families. Previous research suggests that a lack of sustained parental engagement has led to results in poor attendance in obesity prevention interventions. Communities for Healthy Living (CHL) uses Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to empower Head Start families to play a central role in the development and implementation of the obesity prevention program. Parents share decision making power with academic and community partners. This unique partnership produced a childhood obesity family-centered intervention. This intervention was incorporated into existing systems of care such as Head Start and was guided by Empowerment Theory and the Theory of Planned Behavior.

Empowerment constructs were selected for measurement based on program objectives that reflect parental participation in the design and implementation. In addition to gold standard measures of child physical activity, diet and BMI, proximal outcomes measuring behavioral determinants and resource empowerment were assessed. Results of the evaluation indicate that on average, parents completing the CHL intervention showed an increase in knowledge about resources and feeling empowered to be able to leverage resources to improve their childs' weight ( .23 points, p<.01), increase their physical activity(.29 points p<.001), and improve their diet(.22 points, p<.001). Parents also showed significant increases in self-efficacy to control a child's screen time, increasing on average .17 points. These findings suggest that the participatory intervention effectively raised the empowerment level of parents, increasing their ability to curb childhood obesity.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Participants will differentiate a family-centered childhood obesity program that is innovative in its design and implementation from more traditional childhood obesity programs. Participants will describe outcome measures of empowerment and self-efficacy for evaluation of a participatory childhood obesity program. Participants will evaluate the results of the evaluation of a childhood obesity program.

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-PI on the project that developed this intervention and am integrally involved in all aspects of the project. I developed the measures discussed in the abstract. I have expertise in and nearly 12 years experience in community-based public health.
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.