Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Patricia Keane, PhD

First Committee Member

Alicia Ribar, PhD

Second Committee Member

Cynthia Yensel, MSN

Keywords

Obesity, Pediatric, Nurse Practitioner, Treatment, Prevention, Recognition

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Nursing | Pediatric Nursing

Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) in 1995 described obesity as a chronic disease and one of the most important public health threats and in 2000 reported obesity as a “global epidemic.” The numbers of obese children are increasing in society; moreover, the onset of obesity is occurring at even a younger age than in the past. The prevalence of pediatric obesity is staggering and interventions need to be developed to decrease the risk for chronic and related psychological diseases.

The objective of this project was to provide education on utilization of a tool kit to increase the nurse practitioner (NP) participants’ knowledge base in regards to pediatric obesity prevention, recognition, and treatment. As the pre-intervention, a questionnaire was distributed to the participants to measure their knowledge of childhood obesity. An educational session was provided and then the participants utilized a tool kit in their clinical practice. After a two-month period the Project Director met with the participants and distributed the same questionnaire to determine if participant knowledge, skills and perceptions changed after adopting the tool kit principles into their practice. Data analysis was completed utilizing an analysis of both the mode and median for each question to determine whether or not there was a change in the pre and post-intervention responses. An analysis of pre and post-frequency distributions was completed to determine the direction and extent of that change. Statistical significance of each change was tested utilizing the Mann-Whitney U-Test. Mode, median, and statistical significance were calculated utilizing Excel. Post-intervention participants reported that children would not outgrow being overweight, and identified that a significant barrier to pediatric obesity treatment was not the patient, but lack of preparation on the part of NPs.

The results supported that increased knowledge did translate into improved treatment practices in the tory care setting. As more NPs are prepared to recognize, prevent, and treat pediatric obesity, the health of our children will improve significantly.

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