Children Diagnosed With Obesity and Their Relatives

The Rationale for the Topic and the Purpose

The prevalence of childhood obesity in the USA is rather alarming as over 20% of children aged between 11 and 14 years old are obese (Cunningham, Kramer, & Narayan, 2014). Obesity is characterized by significant morbidity and associated with such serious health problems as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, fatty liver disease, asthma, skin conditions, orthopedic issues, sleep disorders, to name a few (Sahoo et al., 2015). Psychological and emotional concerns are also common for obese children as they are vulnerable to bullying, marginalization, and alienation. It has been found that the majority of obese children fail to overcome this condition without the help of professionals or their family, and their excessive weight becomes an issue in their adult life.

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At the same time, various educational interventions have proved to be effective, and children benefit from such projects held in different settings. School-based, clinical, and community-based programs help children and their relatives to develop healthy lifestyles and dietary habits (Sbruzzi et al., 2013). Therefore, it is essential to develop effective interventions aimed at addressing the health concern under analysis. The purpose of this project is to come up with a lesson for children diagnosed with obesity and their relatives. The lesson can be entitled as follows: 3H: Happy Healthy Heroes!

Identification and Description of Learners

Children

The lesson will target three groups of people, including children, their parents (or other relatives), and medical staff. The primary group of learners is children aged 10-12 years old. The major inclusion criteria will be the participant’s BMI and age, while such characteristics as gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status of the family, academic performance, health conditions, and previous participation in other similar interventions will be excluded. It is noteworthy that children’s willingness to take part in the project will be taken into account. The excluded features will be analyzed during the project’s evaluation. It is important to identify the links (if any) between the outcomes of the lesson and the participants’ peculiarities.

Parents or Relatives

Another target group is parents or other (adult) relatives who will attend the designed lesson. Jurkowski et al. (2013) note that parental involvement in interventions aimed at obesity treatment is effective and should be common in the community health domain. It is stressed that parents shape their children’s behaviors and dietary patterns, so it is but natural that they are influential stakeholders. In many cases, adults are unaware of health hazards and possible solutions associated with obesity, which can be regarded as one of the most serious premises for the development of obesity in their children (Jurkowski et al., 2013). Notably, some children come from one-parent or even foster families, so this fact should be considered during the development of the lesson. It is beneficial to ensure the participation of the person who is close to the child and who has an opportunity to take part in the project. This valuable information can be elicited during the recruitment process.

Nursing Practitioners

Finally, the third group of stakeholders in the clinical staff will be involved in the lesson. Nursing professionals will develop and run the lesson, so they should have the necessary skills to address the established educational goals. Vine, Hargreaves, Briefel, and Orfield (2013) stress that staff development and training are some of the major concerns of the present-day healthcare system. Nursing professionals often lack the necessary knowledge to implement interventions that have proved to be effective in many settings. Therefore, the nursing practitioners involved in this project will receive a brief training course to educate 10-12-year-old children and their adult relatives. The focus will be on educational strategies that can be effective for the target age groups.

Assessment of Learners

The youngest participants will be the students of the seventh and eighth grades. Their educational background and academic performance are irrelevant for this project. At the same time, it is essential to ensure the provision of the material that will be properly understood. Children will get the information appropriate for their age. Sbruzzi et al. (2013) state that middle-school children are quite motivated to take part in such programs. Therefore, it is expected that the participants will be willing to attend the lesson and are likely to be active.

These children’s parents or relatives will be adults (over 21 years old). Their educational background is likely to vary, but it is expected that many of these participants will have a high-school educational level or lower. This educational background is common among low-income families, and it is estimated that the prevalence of childhood obesity in underprivileged communities is higher. Hence, the lesson will be developed with the focus on this group. It is possible to assume that the caregivers who will attend will be motivated and active during the lesson. As for the clinical staff, volunteering nurses will take part in this project. They will receive certificates about their participation and associated training. The age of the nursing professionals is an irrelevant factor as all age groups can be effective trainers. The nursing will have the necessary nursing certification required by state regulations. No other educational requirement will be set for the medical staff.

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Educational Setting

Patient Education

The following educational objectives will be established for patient education:

  • To raise children’s awareness of the negative outcomes associated with obesity;
  • To raise the participants’ awareness of the major causes of obesity;
  • To raise this group’s awareness of the benefits of healthy lifestyles, including healthy eating;
  • To raise the patients’ awareness of various strategies to address their health conditions;
  • To develop this group’s skills and knowledge concerning obesity treatment and prevention;
  • To motivate the children to changes their lifestyles;
  • To motivate the participants to support each other and learn more about health and healthy living.

Family Education

When working with parents and other caregivers, it is necessary to concentrate on the goals mentioned above. This group needs similar data, but the materials will be age-appropriate. Adults will get more information on the matter, but it will be presented in simple words with lots of real-life examples. Apart from the objectives established for patient education, the following goals will be set:

  • To raise the participants’ awareness of the impact of parental involvement and encouragement;
  • To raise this group’s awareness of the available resources providing information concerning childhood obesity, its treatment, and prevention;
  • To motivate adults to spend more time with their children, have healthy lifestyles, and encourage other members of the family to do so.

Staff Development

The educational goals for the nursing staff participating in the project will be as follows:

  • To provide extensive information concerning obesity incidence, prevalence, and comorbidity;
  • To provide extensive data on the existing treatment and prevention methods;
  • To develop nursing professionals’ skills necessary for effective training and achieving educational objectives;
  • To facilitate the discussion of the training strategies aimed at educating patients and their families.

Philosophical or Theoretical Basis for Teaching Approaches

The development of an educational intervention can be effective if a sound theoretical framework is chosen. However, it is necessary to start the search for the most appropriate model with a focus on the philosophical basis of future training. The proposed lesson will be based on the premises of constructivism. According to this philosophy, the objective world does not exist since it is perceived through the lenses of people’s experience and knowledge (Aliakbari, Parvin, Heidari, & Haghani, 2015). Constructivists emphasize that learning should be exploratory in nature and should be closely linked to the social context. It is believed that learners will grasp the provided material better through their experiences rather than listening to detailed lectures.

As far as the theoretical framework to be utilized, Piaget’s cognitive theory and the social learning theory can guide this intervention. Piaget’s theory concentrates on exploratory learning that implies the focus on previous experiences, references to role models, as well as trying and observing instead of listening (Aliakbari et al., 2015). Learners will benefit from this theoretical paradigm because the three groups of stakeholders should interact during the lesson and beyond the boundaries of a single intervention. The social component of the lesson will be central as students, their caregivers, and nursing professionals will learn to communicate and collaborate effectively when addressing certain health issues. Nurses will focus on the previous experiences of the patients and their caregivers to promote healthy lifestyles.

References

Aliakbari, F., Parvin, N., Heidari, M., & Haghani, F. (2015). Learning theories application in nursing education. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 4. Web.

Cunningham, S. A., Kramer, M. R., & Narayan, K. M. V. (2014). Incidence of childhood obesity in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine, 370(5), 403-411. Web.

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Jurkowski, J. M., Green Mills, L. L., Lawson, H. A., Bovenzi, M. C., Quartimon, R., & Davison, K. K. (2013). Engaging low-income parents in childhood obesity prevention from start to finish: A case study. Journal of Community Health, 38(1), 1-11. Web.

Sahoo, K., Sahoo, B., Choudhury, A. K., Sufi, N. Y., Kumar, R., & Bhadoria, A. S. (2015). Childhood obesity: Causes and consequences. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 4(2), 187-192. Web.

Sbruzzi, G., Eibel, B., Barbiero, S. M., Petkowicz, R. O., Ribeiro, R. A., Cesa, C. C., … Pellanda, L. C. (2013). Educational interventions in childhood obesity: A systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Preventive Medicine, 56(5), 254-264. Web.

Vine, M., Hargreaves, M., Briefel, R., & Orfield, C. (2013). Expanding the role of primary care in the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity: A review of clinic- and community-based recommendations and interventions. Journal of Obesity, 2013. Web.

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