An interprofessional education program that includes clinical and community-oriented health professions fosters increased sensitivity to the complexities of childhood obesity
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
: 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
INTRODUCTION: Long-term solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic will require concerted interdisciplinary efforts that are sensitive to both individual and social determinants. The Junior Doctors of Health© (JDOH) program involves interprofessional education (IPE) with University students from health science fields (e.g. medicine, pharmacy, dietetics, social work, public health) who deliver an interactive program in teams to at-risk school-aged youth. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of participation in the JDOH IPE program on University students' beliefs about childhood obesity. METHODS: Students (n=52) enrolled in an IPE elective that incorporated the JDOH curriculum at two different universities participated in this study. Surveys assessed beliefs about importance and causes of and responsibility for childhood obesity among student participants before and after their IPE experience. Data were analyzed using paired t-tests. RESULTS: Results indicate that at pre-test, students ranked individual-level causes (e.g. fast food and junk food consumption) of and responsibility for (e.g. parents and the child) childhood obesity higher than those classified at the social or environmental level (e.g. crime or lack of places to exercise). Students also ranked childhood obesity as more important relative to other issues (e.g. drug use, violence). At post-test, significant increases were observed in identification of social/environmental level causes of and responsibility for childhood obesity, with ranked importance of childhood obesity significantly dropping to be as equally important to other issues affecting youth. DISCUSSION: Through an IPE experience that includes both clinical and community-oriented health professions, future health practitioners gained a greater sensitivity to the complexities of childhood obesity as both a social/environmental and individual level problem.
Other professions or practice related to public health
Describe individual and social determinants of childhood obesity
Describe methods for assessing attribution of causes and responsibility for childhood obesity
Describe the JDOH program as an example of community-based interprofessional education
Keyword(s): Professional Training, Obesity
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a community health educator focusing on obesity and chronic disease prevention and have worked with other health professionals in this area. I have worked on the evaluation team for the childhood obesity prevention education curriculum mentioned in abstract. My research interests are in childhood obesity prevention, program evaluation,and health disparities reduction.
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.