Document Detail

Parents' perceptions of health professionals' responses when seeking help for their overweight children.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15772121     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity continues to worsen and so more parents of overweight children are likely to seek help from health professionals. Attitudes and practices of primary care personnel have been sought about adult obesity, but rarely about overweight children. Parents' views in this respect have not been explored. This paper addresses that omission. OBJECTIVES: The aim was to explore parents' perceptions of help-seeking experiences with health professionals. METHODS: This study was a qualitative investigation with parents, conducted in central and south-west England using semi-structured interviews and body shapes used as prompts. Sampling was purposive to ensure an age range of children (4-15 years). Parents of 40 children with concerns about their child's weight were interviewed in their homes. Analysis was thematic and iterative. RESULTS: Parents went through a complex process of monitoring and self-help approaches before seeking professional help. The responses they received from GPs included: being sympathetic, offering tests and further referrals, general advice which parents were already following, mothers were blamed, or dismissed as "making a fuss", and many showed a lack of interest. Health visitors offered practical advice and paediatric dietitians were very supportive. Experiences with community dietitians were less constructive. CONCLUSION: Professional responses ranged from positive, but not very helpful, to negative and dismissive. Health professionals may benefit from a better understanding of parents' plight and childhood obesity in general. This in turn may improve their attitudes and practices and encourage parents to seek help at an earlier stage of their child's overweight.
L D Edmunds
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2005-03-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Family practice     Volume:  22     ISSN:  0263-2136     ISO Abbreviation:  Fam Pract     Publication Date:  2005 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-05-13     Completed Date:  2005-07-27     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8500875     Medline TA:  Fam Pract     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  287-92     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Community-based Medicine, University of Bristol, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Adolescent Health Services / standards*
Child Health Services / standards*
Child, Preschool
Health Services Needs and Demand
Interviews as Topic
Obesity / physiopathology,  therapy*
Parents / psychology*
Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
Primary Health Care / standards*
Professional-Family Relations*
Professional-Patient Relations
Qualitative Research

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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