How Should We Approach and Discuss Children’s Weight With Parents? A Qualitative Analysis of Recommendations From Parents of Preschool-Aged Children to Physicians

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The primary objective of this study was to describe parents’ preference for how physicians should approach diet and weight-related advice for their child. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents (n = 40) of preschoolers, transcribed verbatim, and double-coded using an inductive thematic analysis approach. Parents identified recommendations for how physicians should approach conversations about weight. Themes included (1) Tone and Approach are Important, (2) Avoid Judgment, (3) Have Regard for Parental Expertise, (4) Consider the Timing of the Discussion with Parents, and (5) Equip Parents with Concrete and Individualized Recommendations. Future research should focus on developing brief, effective communication tools to guide discussions with parents about child nutrition and weight. Opportunities to learn about and practice the use of these brief interventions should be incorporated into medical education with the goal of providing clinicians the learning opportunities, skills/tools, and resources needed to adequately and respectfully discuss weight and diet with parents and children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-237
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Fingerprint

Preschool Children
Parents
Physicians
Weights and Measures
Diet
Medical Education
Communication
Learning
Interviews

Keywords

  • communication
  • discussing overweight/obesity
  • parental perceptions
  • patient-provider communication
  • primary care
  • qualitative

Cite this

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abstract = "The primary objective of this study was to describe parents’ preference for how physicians should approach diet and weight-related advice for their child. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents (n = 40) of preschoolers, transcribed verbatim, and double-coded using an inductive thematic analysis approach. Parents identified recommendations for how physicians should approach conversations about weight. Themes included (1) Tone and Approach are Important, (2) Avoid Judgment, (3) Have Regard for Parental Expertise, (4) Consider the Timing of the Discussion with Parents, and (5) Equip Parents with Concrete and Individualized Recommendations. Future research should focus on developing brief, effective communication tools to guide discussions with parents about child nutrition and weight. Opportunities to learn about and practice the use of these brief interventions should be incorporated into medical education with the goal of providing clinicians the learning opportunities, skills/tools, and resources needed to adequately and respectfully discuss weight and diet with parents and children.",
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