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Addressing childhood obesity at school entry: qualitative experiences of school health professionals

Turner, GL, Owen, S and Watson, PM (2015) Addressing childhood obesity at school entry: qualitative experiences of school health professionals. Journal of Child Health Care. ISSN 1367-4935

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School entry provides an opportune moment for health professionals to intervene with children who are overweight, yet identification and management of childhood obesity presents challenges in practice. This mixed-method qualitative study explored the experiences of 26 school health professionals of addressing childhood obesity at school entry. Methods included semi-structured interviews with service managers (n=3); focus groups with school nurses (n=12) and child health practitioners (n=6); and open-ended questionnaires with school nurses (n=4) and child health practitioners (n=1) who were unable to attend the focus groups. A thematic analysis revealed agreement between service managers, school nurses and child health practitioners. Whilst it was felt school health professionals have an important role to play in managing childhood obesity, efforts to address child weight were limited by a lack of capacity, lack of clear protocols, challenges of engaging parents and insufficient training in childhood obesity and related lifestyle issues. School health policy-makers need to recognize childhood obesity as a serious public health issue, allocate appropriate resources to nurse training and development, and ensure clear pathways are established to ensure consistency of care.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1110 Nursing, 1117 Public Health And Health Services, 1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Nursing & Allied Health
Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 09:05
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2022 10:12
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1389
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