Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Carter, Kara

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

<-- Please Select One -->

Department

Department of Health Sciences

Advisor(s)

Michelle Hesse, PhD, RD

Abstract

Obesity is a growing concern surrounding today’s youth. School-based health screenings are promoted as a public health strategy to identify obese children and those at high risk for becoming obese. Despite numerous programs, data is lacking in effective school to parent communication of health related information. The purpose of this research is to determine the effect of electronic communication of health screening outcomes, including parents’ understanding of screening information, utilization of informational resources, and decision to seek physician follow-up. Screenings for body mass index, acanthosis nigricans and blood pressure were conducted during school hours among children in kindergarten and third grade. Parents received screening information via email or through conventional reporting, based on preference. A follow-up telephone survey was conducted to determine screening outcomes, successfully surveying only 35.8% of study population. There were no significant differences between communication method and screening outcomes indicated at follow-up. Parents who chose letter communication had a significantly higher chance of receiving the screening results, compared to parents who opted for e-mail communication (78.8% vs 47.1%; p=.023). Small sample size, due to difficulty in parents receiving screening letter and follow-up conduction, heavily influenced research findings.

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