Clinician Role-Play Simulation to Reduce the Occurrence of Childhood Obesity
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Obesity in the United States is at historically high levels and is an important health problem (Flegal et al., 2010). While the concern affects all age groups, the instances of childhood obesity have tripled within thelast twenty-five years. Not only do overweight and obese children experience health-related concerns, psychosocially they have been shown to experience decreased self-esteem (Wang et al., 2009). The lifetime health effects of obesity in children are more likely to start at an earlier age and be more severe than those faced by individuals who become obese later in life (Franks et al., 2010). Obesity treatment interventions targeted toward children have been shown to be more effective than those for adults (Epstein et al., 1998), and yet, health care providers do not routinely address obesity prevention and treatment in their practices. To target this gap in treatment, SIMmersion, together with Dr. Fulkerson and Dr. Sherwood, proposes to develop a prototype simulation to train health care providers to effectively conduct discussions with parents to provide intervention for and reduce the likelihood of progression to childhood obesity. The proposed training simulation system will allow health care providers to practice talking to the parent of an overweight child in order to practice communicating concern without alarm, preparing for and dealing with resistance, and identifying appropriate resources, motivations, and steps for change. To evaluate the feasibilityof using an interactive, multi-media simulation to train health care providers to educate and motivate parents to make changes, two groups of health care providers with expertise in childhood obesity prevention and treatment will be asked to review the prototype simulation and provide feedback. Upon successful completion of Phase I, an expanded, full-featured simulation will be built and evaluated for efficacy using a randomized control trial during Phase II. The simulated patient program is expected to advance our ability to train medical professionals in obesity treatment and prevention. We anticipate that the training system will better prepare health care providers to educate their patients and the patients' families, resulting in lifestyle changes amongoverweight and obese children and adolescents and their families. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Innovative and economical technologies that assist primary care physicians in acquiring competence in conducting discussions with parents to provide intervention for and reduce the likelihood of progression to childhood obesity. Educating and motivating parents to change family environments for overweight and obese children will reduce the instances of childhood obesity and the long-term impact it has on health and quality of life.
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9861 BROKEN LAND PKWY STE 200 COLUMBIA, MD 21046-3039
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