Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Dana Leach


Overweight and obesity in patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at epidemic levels in the United States. The problem identified for this DNP project is the incidence of overweight and obesity in IDD. The framework used involved the quality model for improvement. For this DNP project a new program called the Daily-Enhanced Physical Activities Program (DEPA) was developed to promote weight loss, reduce sedentary activities, and optimal body mass index (BMI) for IDD patients. Local experts consisting of two registered nurses, two physical therapists, and one direct support personnel working with IDD patients were recruited. Each expert reviewed the newly developed DEPA program using a 10 question, 4-point Likert type scale survey. Results of expert surveys showed expert agreement that daily physical activity is necessary for IDD patients to reduce the risk for other chronic disease related to sedentary lifestyle. Furthermore, all experts 'agreed' that a disability should not prevent a person from engaging in activity to enhance the quality of life. Finally, all experts indicated that the selected population would take advantage of the DEPA project. Social change occurs when IDD patients are engaged with a structured DEPA project to possibly reduce obesity, increase activity and improve BMI.

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