Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Childhood obesity is a worldwide epidemic. In the United States, approximately 17% of adolescents are obese; and 13% of the general population is overweight. Obese adolescents are at threefold risk for developing chronic health conditions in adulthood, including type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the results of a quality improvement program to reduce adolescent obesity as measured by BMI 5% over 18 months in a rural health primary care clinic. The health belief model and theory of planned behavior guided the project as adolescents need to first understand the risks associated with obesity and the benefits derived from a healthier lifestyle Then, they can be prepared to engage in regular exercise and good eating behaviors. A convenience sample of 100 adolescents was randomly assigned to an intervention group with structured physical activity regimen and dietary education classes and a standard care group with normal counseling. Two separate one-sided t tests with 90% confidence intervals were used to analyze the data. Also, run charts were constructed to assess the effectiveness of the program. The result of the t test revealed the weight for the intervention group at 18 months (M = 42.85, SD = 0.79) was significantly lower than it was for those in the non-intervention group (M = 45.06, SD = 0.59), t(36) = -9.79, p < 0.01. Furthermore, the run charts demonstrate the average BMI for those in the interventional group steadily decreased over 18 months while the non-intervention group steadily increased. Positive social change was achieved at the organization level as adolescent obesity was reduced with the evidence-based interventions. This project serves as a potential model for replication in other rural health primary care clinics.