SUPPORT (SUpporting health Professionals to help Parents address OveRweighT in children) Study

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The SUPPORT study aims to identify how local health systems can support healthcare professionals to have healthier weight conversations with parents of primary school-age children.

This project is funded by Public Health England.

Healthcare Professionals working in community settings have a role in supporting adults and children with excess weight to change their eating and physical activity behaviours. Previous research suggests that healthcare professionals are reluctant to have conversations with parents about their children achieving a healthier weight. They perceive several barriers to having these conversations, which include: lack of time, confidence and knowledge; fear of damaging their existing patient-professional relationship; difficulty in raising the issue when the parent is consulting for another reason; and lack of information on the weight category that the child falls into.

Key researchers

Miranda Pallan (7)Dr Miranda Pallan

Principal Investigator

Institute of Applied Health Research

View profile

Aims of the project

We are asking GPs, Primary Care Nurses, and School Nurses who work in ethnically diverse areas or areas of high social and economic disadvantage to take part in interviews or focus groups. We aim to have at least 10 participants from each group. We will explore with the participants their experiences of having these conversations with parents. We will ask about the difficulties that participants have encountered, the perceived challenges, the factors that help them to have these conversations, the potential role of routinely collected information on children’s weight and height, the need for and access to training and skills development, and their views on how they can best be supported to have these conversations. We will ask participants to consider certain clinical scenarios to further explore these areas.

We will use the resulting information to develop recommendations for action. We will invite representatives from across the local health system to a workshop, and ask them to prioritise these recommendations. The prioritised list will be shared widely across all relevant agencies.

Meet the team

Support Study Team

Dr Miranda Pallan

Dr Miranda Pallan

Reader in Public Health & Epidemiology

Institute of Applied Health Research

Miranda’s research mainly focuses on the health of children and adolescents. She has undertaken research into the epidemiology, prevention and management of overweight and obesity in children, and is also expanding her research to include general health and wellbeing in childhood and adolescence. Her research seeks to improve health in childhood, and in the longer term to reduce adult ill ...

Telephone
+44 (0) 121 414 7990
Email
m.j.pallan@bham.ac.uk

Professor Kate Jolly

Professor Kate Jolly

Professor of Public Health and Primary Care
Deputy Director of the Institute of Applied Health Research

Institute of Applied Health Research

Kate Jolly is a Professor of Public Health and Primary Care.

Her main research interests are on the prevention and management of important non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular and respiratory conditions; behaviour change to reduce obesity and increase physical activity and maternal and child health.

 

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 7552/PA: Anne Walker +44 (0)121 414 7578
Email
c.b.jolly@bham.ac.uk

Professor Peymané Adab

Professor Peymané Adab

Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology & Public Health

Institute of Applied Health Research

Peymané is a public health physician and Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology & Public Health.

Her research interests are in chronic disease epidemiology and behavioural medicine. This includes a portfolio of work on obesity prevention and management, particularly in children and minority ethnic groups, as well as research on the epidemiology, early identification and management ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 3777
Email
p.adab@bham.ac.uk

Mrs Frances Mason

Mrs Frances Mason

Research Fellow

Institute of Applied Health Research

Frances’ research interests focus on the prevention of obesity in adults. She has undertaken research into the prevention of weight gain during high risk occasions and the development of complex interventions. Her recent research has expanded into the field of childhood obesity and exploring how health care professionals may be supported to have conversations with parents and carers about ...

Telephone
+44 (0)121 414 7496
Email
f.e.mason@bham.ac.uk

 

Members outside of University of Birmingham 

 

Dr Helen Parretti - Clinical Senior Lecturer - Norwich Medical School, Honorary NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer - University of Birmingham.
Helen Parretti

 

Interested in taking part?

This section contains detailed information for healthcare professionals who are interested in taking part in this study:

If you are interested in taking part, please contact us:
Email: supportstudyiahr@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 7869 

Patient and public involvement

An advisory group comprising General Practitioners, paediatricians, nurses and a parent have provided input into the development of the interview and focus group methods.

Contact

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 7869