Parents’ Motivations and Experiences in a Family-Based Management Program
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Abstract Background: Family-based interventions have shown to be effective in the treatment of childhood obesity. Numerous studies have shed light on the importance of involving parents in the treatment of childhood obesity, as parents are the primary agents responsible for promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviours in their children by encouraging healthy dietary habits and appropriate levels of physical activity. Aim: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore parents' motivations, barriers, changes, and experiences during their participation in a family-based outpatient weight management program. The research questions driving this study were about motivations of parents enrolled in weight management programs, their experiences, and changes and challenges that occurred through their attendance. Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews with four mothers who attended a family-based outpatient program in Ontario. All interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used to analyze transcripts for common themes. Self-determination theory was used as a framework to understand parents’ motivations and experiences. Results: What motivated parents to be enrolled in the program is concern and the need to manage their child’s weight; in addition, they continued because of their children. While attending the program, parents discussed the benefits of being in an autonomy- supportive environment, which was provided by the program team and families. Parents cited challenges that they faced when enforcing new healthy changes at home such as time scarcity, an unsupportive spouse, and the child’s behaviour. Parents identified several benefits of attending the program related to knowledge and skills gained. Conclusions: When mothers’ need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness was supported in the program, they experienced more engagement in treatment as well as reported positive changes in their behaviours. The results suggest that teaching parenting skills is essential to providing guiding principles in the everyday life of the child; hence, particular emphasis is to be placed on enhancing parents’ skills as a way to support a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. Future research is needed to investigate the extent to which concern would motivate parents to enroll in their child’s treatment.
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Shuruq Alghamdi (2017). Parents’ Motivations and Experiences in a Family-Based Management Program. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12775