Graduate Publications and Other Selected Works - Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

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Background: Childhood obesity is an expanding issue of social and medical concern that requires a multidisciplinary approach for prevention and treatment (Ross et al., 2014). With 13.7 million children and adolescents in The United States considered overweight or obese, it is evident that change needs to transpire. Literature supports the use of behavioral incentives to increase a child’s physical activity, maintain or decrease weight, and improve body mass index (BMI) over time (Allafi, A., 2020; Finkelstein, E. et al., 2013; Groffik, D. et al, 2008; Staiano, A. et al., 2017).

Methods: This project executed change through the facilitation of The Rosswurm and Larrabee Model (1999) to overweight and obese patients in a pediatric primary care setting. By implementing the use of a behavioral incentive within the school-aged pediatric population, this project aimed to increase physical activity, decrease or maintain weight, and positively influence BMI results over three months.

Findings: The weekly amount of time participants spent participating in physical activity increased by 26.27 minutes (p=0.031). The number of daily steps taken increased by 1,393 steps (p=0.031). Participants lost an overage of 0.8lbs (p=0.253) and decreased their BMI by an average of 0.17 points (p=0.498) after three months.

Application to Practice: The implementation of the pedometer in overweight and obese children significantly increased physical activity and promoted weight loss by increasing time spent participating in physical activity amongst 91% of the project participants, preventing further weight gain, and reducing body weight by 64% of project participants.

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