Family carers’ experiences of participating in a weight management program for overweight children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities: An exploratory study

Regina L. T. Lee, Michael Brown, Cynthia Leung, Hong Chen , Lobo Louie, Jyu Lin Chen, Paul H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Aim: To gain insight into the experiences of family carers participating in a weight management program via mHealth tools for overweight children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities.

Background. Many weight reduction programs fail to show positive and sustainable impacts due to not involving parents, who are usually unavailable to attend school-based health programs. The mHealth interactive interventions were carried out in September 2015 - August 2016, engaging carers to monitor and sustain their children’s healthy lifestyle behaviors at home being one way to achieve this.

Design. Qualitative research design to conduct focus group discussion with family carers involved in a school-based weight management program via the mHealth interventions.

Methods. An exploratory study was used to examine family carers’ views of participating in a weight management program. Focus group interviews examined the in-depth experiences of 20 family carers in providing social support and monitoring lifestyle behaviors via the mHealth interactive interventions.

Results. Twenty family carers were recruited, and four themes emerged: (1) improving family carer-child interactions and communications, (2) gaining useful and practical health information from experts, (3) supporting each other via an mHealth platform, and (4) appreciating the collaborative effort between school personnel and family carers. Family carers stressed the usefulness of the mHealth interactive interventions in monitoring and sustaining the children’s healthy lifestyle behaviors at home.

Conclusion. The mHealth interactive interventions for increasing family carers’ involvement and monitoring were well received. The findings provide new insights into using mHealth interventions in future weight management programs involving parental participation in the home environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Early online date05 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 05 Sep 2018

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