Introduction: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children has risen sharply during recent decades. School nurses are key health professionals in interventions targeting the early onset of overweight and obesity during childhood. Understanding how school nurses experience communication with parents concerning their child´s growth and weight development are essential. The aim of the study is to describe school nurses’ experience of communicating growth data and weight development to parents of school children ages 8 and 10 years.
Method: The design of the study is a descriptive, qualitative design with purposive and snowball sampling. Sixteen interviews with school nurses were conducted and analysed with qualitative content analysis.
Result: The analysis resulted in three main categories including subcategories. In Challenges in the professional role, the school nurses expressed a lack of knowledge, skills and tools in communication, described a perception of parental responsibility and stated using several different approaches in communicating growth data and weight development to parents. In Sustainable communication with parents, the school nurses described the value of creating a dialogue, a supportive approach to the parents, and the building of a relation between them and the parents as essential. In Barriers in communicating the child´s weight, the school nurses described the experience of stigma concerning the subject of overweight and obesity, increased concern when they detected underweight as well as an ambivalence towards measuring weight.
Conclusion: The study highlights an educational challenge concerning the need for training, skills, and strategies for communication with parents. A variety of ways in school nurses’ communication with parents were identified in the present study and this shows an inconsistency in how School health services was offered and a need for the development of evidence-based procedures for communicating growth data and weight development to parents.
|Journal||BMC Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 2023-Jan-04|
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Nursing (30305)
- Growth data
- School nurses
- Weight development