The effectiveness of the NHS’s family-based weight management programmes, which targets lifestyle behavioural change to treat childhood obesity, remains questionable due to estimated attrition rates of 27%–90%. Previous studies have reported families’ and programmes’ characteristics to inconsistently influence attrition rate. However, no such study has considered similar data in paediatric weight management treatment in Scotland, UK.
Aim To identify participants’ characteristics, programme characteristics and families perceived barriers associated with withdrawal from the treatment programme.
Subjects and study design A survey using quantitative structured questionnaires was performed for n = 486 families attending a 12 week programme across Greater Glasgow and Clyde between 2009 and 2013. A total of 275 families completed the questionnaire (n = 23 by post, n = 172 by telephone and n = 80 during final sessions). Records of attendance for each family were used to compare all variables predicting attrition between two groups of families: Non completer (0–7wks) and completer (≥8wks).
Measurements Participants baseline characteristics e.g.; demographics, socioeconomic, and anthropometric BMI sds z-score (using 1990 UK references). Programme characteristics e.g.; intervention year, parent and child overall satisfaction, parent’s satisfaction with programme (1st contact, Coaches knowledge, attitude and skills) and programme structure, families expectation from the programme, perceived barriers of both parent and child (attitude and programmatic perceived barriers) and child (self efficacy).
Results Using multivariate logistic regression, only study period, child satisfaction, child and parent’s barriers (child efficacy & parents programmatic perceived) were significant adjusted predictors of completion. The odds of participants completing the programme in (Apr 2012–13) were approximately five times higher (OR=4.436, 1.916–10.271) than the odds of completing the programme in the first year (2009–Feb 2012). The odds of the child being satisfied with the programme were significantly higher (OR=49.554, 5.833–421.002) among families who had completed ≥8 weeks in the program. Barriers also had significantly negative effects on completion.
Conclusion This study provides a model for a community based service for obese children targeting programme intervals, child overall satisfaction, child self-efficacy & parents programmatic perceived barriers need to be addressed to increase future retention in Paediatric weight management interventions.