Kristina Orban, Lena-Karin Erlandsson, Anna-Karin Edberg, Jenny Önnerfält, Kristina Thorngren-Jerneck; Effect of an Occupation-Focused Family Intervention on Change in Parents’ Time Use and Children’s Body Mass Index. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(6):e217-e226. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2014.010405.
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. This study explored factors related to changes in the time parents spent with their children with obesity and associated decreases in children’s body mass index (BMI) z-scores after an occupation-focused intervention.
METHOD. Parents participated in a 1-yr occupation-focused intervention to promote healthy family lifestyles. Data on 40 parents of 22 children with obesity ages 4–6 yr were collected before and after intervention and analyzed using linear and multiple regression methods.
RESULTS. Parents increased time spent with their children by an average of 91 min/day. Parents’ finances, perceived satisfaction in daily occupations, low BMI, and mastery at inclusion were associated with increased time spent with their children. Mothers’ subjective health and high mastery and fathers’ perceived occupational value and education explained 67% of the variance in children’s BMI z-scores.
CONCLUSION. The results indicate important factors to consider in developing interventions that facilitate occupational engagement and health among children with obesity and their families.
Supporting parents in reflecting on the way they spend their time and engage in daily routines with their children might lead to sustainable lifestyle change by promoting an understanding of the relationship between time use, weight status, and well-being for the whole family.
Parents’ increased involvement in their children’s daily occupations may predict positive outcomes in both time use and child BMI.
Interventions in routine clinical settings should help both parents identify healthy occupational opportunities.
Collaboration with parents using an occupation-focused approach may be effective in interventions aimed at facilitating normal weight development in children.
Clients have different resources and capacities (e.g., finances, subjective health) at their disposal. Practitioners can identify and strengthen parental resources to enable engagement in meaningful occupations.
Future research needs to explore family constraints that limit opportunities to engage in desired family routines. The great challenge lies in identifying and reaching out to all parents who need support to effect changes in their daily occupations.
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