The effectiveness of nurse-led interventions in preventing obesity among school students

2017-02-22T02:15:41Z (GMT) by Rajabi Alashti, Anahita
Over the past two decades, childhood obesity has increased rapidly. As schools have extensive accessibility to children, this setting can play an important role in addressing this issue. Nurses as professional health care providers also have a unique position in schools to prevent obesity among school students by implementing interventions which are based on cognitive behaviour therapy, education and health promotion and lifestyle modification. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of nurse-led intervention in preventing obesity among school students. A quantitative systematic review was conducted which identified and summarised all the retrieved research relating to the effectiveness of nurse-led interventions in preventing obesity among school students. Relevant research articles were identified and reviewed and the retrieved data regarding effectiveness of nurse-led interventions targeting childhood obesity were evaluated. Descriptive analysis was completed and findings were discussed. Three studies involving a total of 414 participants were selected for analysis after screening 172 potential studies. This systematic review found that nursing interventions targeting Body Mass Index, physical activity, and screen time can be much more effective if applied at primary school age and using multi-component interventions. In addition, findings suggested that nurses are able to modify obese children and their families' behaviour and motivate them toward healthy lifestyles by applying theory based structures such as social cognitive theory. Findings also suggest that nurses can play an important role in promoting healthy behaviour of obese students through cooperation with other parts of the community such as families, school personnel, and local health clinics. This systematic review is the first one conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of nurseled interventions in preventing school-aged children's obesity. However, due to the low number of included studies the findings require more rigorous scientific evidence. Further research is needed to evaluate the efficacy of nurse-led interventions in preventing obesity among school students.