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Cancer Control Research

Thompson, Sharon K.


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Despite the increase in overweight and obesity in adolescents, there are few evidence-based clinical treatment programs that address weight loss and healthy weight maintenance in this population. Researchers associated with the San Diego Center for Health Interventions, LLC have over 12 years experience designing and testing interventions to improve physical activity and eating behaviors, and have created computer and web-based programs to deliver individually-tailored interventions to a variety of populations, including overweight adolescents. The purpose of this Phase I SBIR project is to finalize the development of a weight control intervention that physicians can offer their adolescent patients - PACEi-OK (Internet PACE for Overweight Kids). This intervention integrates: a) brief on-line instruction for health care providers about how to use and "prescribe" PACEi-OK; and b) an individualized, web-based weight control program they can offer to their adolescent patients and their parents. PACEi- OK enables physicians to offer a specific service to their overweight patients and then engages adolescents for a full year in specific weight control activities they and their parents can take as they follow their doctor's advice to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight through adolescence. We will perform two sets of activities over a 6-month period of time: 1) adapting existing paper-based provider training materials to a web-based format and integrating this with our current web-based programs addressing weight related behaviors of physical activity and diet in adolescents and their families; and 2) two rounds of formative work, first with 3 focus groups of 8 healthcare providers to provide input on the provider training component; second, beta testing the combined PACEi-OK product with 4 physicians, each learning about PACEi-OK via the system and then using it with two of their patients. Input from this formative research will then guide creation of the final product to be tested for effectiveness in Phase II. The PACEi-OK intervention is particularly innovative because its components--standardized online training for providers, web assessment and behavior change planning for patients and their parents, and the ongoing web-based intervention- are unified through a common theoretical and behavioral framework.

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