IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 2171: Participants` Perceptions of `C.H.A.M.P. Families`: A Parent-Focused Intervention Targeting Paediatric Overweight and Obesity (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: Recently, our team implemented a 13-week group-based intervention for parents of children with obesity (“C.H.A.M.P. Families”). The primary objective of this study was to explore, qualitatively, parents’ perspectives of their experiences in and influence of C.H.A.M.P. Families, as well as their recommendations for future paediatric obesity treatment interventions. Methods: Twelve parents (seven mothers, five fathers/step-fathers) representing seven children (four girls, three boys) with obesity participated in one of two focus groups following the intervention. Focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim and data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Findings showed that parents perceived their participation in C.H.A.M.P. Families to be a positive experience. Participants highlighted several positive health-related outcomes for children, families, and parents. Parents also underscored the importance and positive impact of the group environment, specific educational content, and additional program components such as free child-minding. Recommendations for future interventions were also provided, including greater child involvement and more practical strategies. Finally, parents identified several barriers including socioenvironmental issues, time constraints, and parenting challenges. Conclusions: Researchers developing family-based childhood obesity interventions should consider the balance of parent and child involvement, as well as emphasize group dynamics strategies and positive family communication.