Efficacious intervention strategies are currently available for treating childhood obesity. However, there is little evidence that these programs have been systematically translated into regular practice. These treatment programs are most often located in urban based hospitals or large medical systems – even less is known about how best to adapt and implement childhood obesity treatment programs in rural or community-based settings.
In an article in the current issue of BMC Public Health, Dr. Jennie Hill, professor, and colleagues from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Public Health describe a project that applied a systems-based approach within a community-based participatory research program to engage local stakeholders and develop a sustainable childhood obesity treatment program in a rural, medically underserved region.
This work demonstrated “that this process successfully led to the selection of an evidence-based childhood obesity program, functional adaptation to that program based on evidence-based principles and learning objectives to align with local resources, and preliminary evidence of effectiveness.” In addition, the investigators documented that implementation fidelity was very high across intervention sessions and fidelity was not reduced when community leaders led the family sessions or completed intervention telephone support calls. Conversely, this pilot study also indicated that the magnitude of reduction of child body mass index (BMI) was smaller than that achieved in efficacy trials and that the reduction was not sustained post program — suggesting additional adaptations are necessary to improve effectiveness and maintenance.Friday Letter Submission