Low-intensity, family-based, multicomponent interventions can be delivered within primary care settings, where most families, particularly those who disproportionately experience childhood overweight and obesity, have access to care. As low-intensity interventions produce smaller effects than high-intensity interventions, maintenance of reductions in weight status is important in determining effectiveness. This study examined 3-month follow-up of standardized body mass index (ZBMI) following a 6-month low-intensity, family-based, multicomponent childhood obesity intervention delivered to underserved families.
A low-intensity, family-based, multicomponent intervention (3, 30-min face-to-face contacts; 3 20-min phone contacts delivered over 6 months) was delivered by Behavioral Health Consultants to 73 children (8.3 + 1.8 yr, 2.03 + 0.41 ZBMI, 57.5% female, 78.1% Hispanic) who were > 85th%ile BMI, receiving integrated primary care at a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Household food insecurity was prevalent (> 30%) within families receiving care at the FQHC. To examine if having only one person in the household make dietary changes reduced treatment barriers, this study compared one intervention that included caregiver modeling (PP+: n = 35) to one intervention that did not (PP-: n = 38).
There was no significant difference in the number of sessions completed by intervention (PP+ = 3.3 + 1.8; PP- = 3.8 + 1.9). At 6-months, a significant reduction in ZBMI occurred (- 0.08 + 0.24, p < 0.05). This reduction was maintained at 9-months (-0.12 + 0.43, p < 0.05). No differences occurred at any time point between the interventions in ZBMI.
These results suggest that a low-intensity intervention delivered in an integrated primary care setting reduced ZBMI in underserved children, and the reduction was maintained over 3 months.