Childhood obesity prevention: fathers' reflections with healthcare providers.
BACKGROUND: To prevent childhood obesity, parents and their children's healthcare providers need to engage in effective dialogue. We know much about mothers' experiences, but very little about fathers' experiences. METHODS: We explored African-American, Caucasian, and Latino fathers' perceptions and experiences communicating with their children's provider during clinic visits regarding weight, diet, and physical activity. Focus groups (n=3), grouped by race/ethnicity, including a total of 24 fathers, were conducted. The men were asked open-ended questions; responses were recorded and transcribed, and analyzed using ATLAS.ti. RESULTS: Findings revealed that these fathers were involved in their children's healthcare and found providers to be helpful partners in keeping their children healthy, yet they generally felt "left out" during clinic appointments. The quality of the relationship with their children's provider influenced how receptive fathers were to discussing their children's weight, diet, and physical activity behaviors. Fathers made suggestions to help improve communication between providers and fathers, such as personalizing the discussion. CONCLUSIONS: These fathers expressed strong feelings about the provider-parent relationship when discussing weight, diet, and physical activity.
Lowenstein, LM; Perrin, EM; Berry, D; Vu, MB; Pullen Davis, L; Cai, J; Tzeng, JP; Ammerman, AS
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