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PhD candidate Laura Greyber and Professor Catherine Dulmus publish article "A Pilot Examination of Outcomes from an Adolescent Residential Treatment Facility Health and Wellness Intervention on Body Mass Index"


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Details:
Congratulations to our PhD candidate Laura Greyber, Catherine Dulmus and their colleagues for the publication of the article "A Pilot Examination of Outcomes from an Adolescent Residential Treatment Facility Health and Wellness Intervention on Body Mass Index," in Residential Treatment for Children and Youth.

Greyber, L., Dulmus, C.N., Cristalli, M., & Jorganson, J. (2013). A Pilot Examination of Outcomes from an Adolescent Residential Treatment Facility Health and Wellness Intervention on Body Mass Index. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth.

Abstract:
Specific Aims and Methodological Design: Using a pre–posttest design, the objective of this exploratory pilot study is to test the outcomes of a comprehensive wellness group intervention in reducing obesity measured by body mass index (BMI) for adolescents living in a residential treatment facility (RTF). The second major objective of this study is to test possible interactions of demographic and diagnostic characteristics on the outcome BMI percentage. The first hypothesis is that the wellness group intervention will significantly improve participants’ BMI from unhealthy to healthy ranges. To analyze the first hypothesis, the overweight and obese BMI ranges will be combined to create the unhealthy category. Secondly, it is hypothesized that the intervention will significantly improve individuals’ BMI ranges from obese to overweight, and from overweight to healthy weight when comparing pre- to posttests. Lastly, it is hypothesized that post-BMI percentage will be predicted by pre-BMI categories (obese, overweight, and healthy).

Sample: The participants were sampled from an existing RTF and consisted of 28 adolescents, both male with serious and chronic emotional disorders. Demographic information was unavailable for two of the 28 participants in this study.

Data Collection and Measures: Participants’ BMI (N = 28) was measured at pre- and post-testing by the staff members at the RTF as well as demographic and diagnostic data including gender, ethnicity, age, and mental and physical health diagnosis (N = 26).

Data Analysis and Results: Demographic and diagnostic data was analyzed using descriptive frequencies. Data on pre–post BMI measures was analyzed using McNemar chi-square analyses. All of the hypotheses were supported. Results indicate that participants significantly improved their BMI scores from pre- to posttesting—specifically the number of youth in unhealthy ranges significantly improved to healthy ranges; and, the number of youth who moved from obese to overweight, and overweight to healthy improved. Lastly, results indicate that pre-BMI categories were significantly predictive of post-BMI percentage.

Conclusions: The findings of this pilot study have implications for practice, policy, and research in all areas of child and adolescent wellness, including social work, psychology, health, medical, and education, to name a few. Results indicate that providing a comprehensive health and wellness intervention that integrates all aspects of well-being, is perhaps a worthwhile intervention to improving the health of youth in residential treatment facilities. Limitations include a small sample size and limited methodological rigor due to design (pre–posttest single group design with no control). An additional limitation is the lack of data on psychotropic medication use for the sample. While the current research is a pilot exploratory study, it provides valuable information for future research with larger sample sizes and the use of control groups.


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