Exploring Health Care Providers’ Perspectives of Care Practices, Facilitators, and Barriers Experienced when Managing Childhood Obesity in Rural Northwestern Ontario Communities
Master of Science
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Previous literature has identified that rural communities have a higher obesity prevalence than their urban counterparts. In comparison to the rest of the province, childhood obesity rates are significantly higher in Northwestern Ontario (NWO), a region made up of rural, isolated communities. Obesity management interventions administered through primary care offer an excellent opportunity to address obesity-related health problems. To date, there is a paucity of research examining the perceptions of health care providers (HCPs) who work with children, youth, and families regarding facilitators and barriers to care experienced in practice, especially in rural areas. Moreover, the current standard of care for paediatric obesity management appears to be unknown. Given that childhood obesity is such a complex health issue, interdisciplinary Family Health Teams should have a positive effect on management efforts. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perspectives of interdisciplinary HCPs who subscribe to the Family Health Team Model in rural NWO communities regarding the care practices, facilitators, and barriers experienced when working to manage overweight and obesity in children and youth. Participants were recruited from five rural health centres that provide services to paediatric populations in NWO. Eleven, one-on-one semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted and involved registered dieticians ( n=3), family physicians (n=3), nurse practitioners (n=3), social workers (n=1), and registered practical nurses (n=1). The researcher followed a semi-structured interview guide; all sessions were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using inductive content analysis on NVivo software. .