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Impact on Healthy Behaviors of Group Obesity Management Visits in Middle School Health Centers

The Journal of school nursing : the official publication of the National Association of School Nurses | 16 Apr 2019

NA Schapiro, EK Green, S Kaller, CD Brindis, A Rodriguez, M Alkebulan-Abakah and JL Chen
Abstract
This mixed-methods community-based participatory pilot study examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of group obesity management visits offered through school-based health centers. The study was implemented through an academic-community partnership in three school health centers serving primarily Latinx and African American youth. Participants ( n = 71) completed pre- and post-surveys about intention to change diet and exercise habits, knowledge and self-efficacy related to healthy eating, and social support. Focus groups were conducted after the intervention and 18 months later. Group visits were feasible and highly valued by study participants. Quantitative results showed a significant decrease in soda consumption, increased support from classmates, and an increased number of exercise days. In focus groups, youth endorsed cooking, tasting, and shopping activities, noted the importance of family involvement in behavior change, and stated that stress reduction mindfulness exercises helped to change eating habits. Implications for school-based health care and school nursing are discussed.
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