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Contemp Clin Trials. 2008 Mar;29(2):270-80. Epub 2007 May 29.

Sensible treatment of obesity in rural youth (STORY): design and methods.

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, College of Public Health and Health Professions, 101 S. Newell Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Project STORY is a 3-arm, randomized, planning and feasibility study assessing the effectiveness of two behavioral weight management interventions in an important and at-risk population, overweight children and their parents in medically underserved rural counties. Participants will include 90 parent-child dyads from rural counties in north central Florida. Families will be randomized to one of three conditions: (a) a Family-Based Behavioral Group Intervention, (b) a Parent-Only Behavioral Group Intervention, and (c) a waitlist control condition. Child and parent participants will be assessed at baseline (month 0), post-treatment (month 4) and follow-up (month 10). Assessment and intervention sessions will be held at Cooperative Extension offices within each local participating county. The primary outcome measure is change in child body mass index (BMI) z-score. Additional key outcome measures include child dietary intake, physical activity, self-esteem, body image, and parent BMI. The goals of the study are to (a) assess the feasibility of recruitment in rural settings, (b) develop and evaluate training protocol for group leaders, (c) determine strategies to increase adherence to monitoring and goal setting protocol, (d) evaluate strategies for participant retention, (e) assess the relative cost-effectiveness of the interventions, (f) assess the acceptability of the intervention to families and Cooperative Extension administrators and personnel, and (g) if successful, estimate the sample size needed for a full-scale trial. This research has potential implications for medically underserved rural communities with limited resources and preventive health care services. If successful, a Parent-Only intervention program may provide a cost-effective and practical intervention for families in underserved rural communities.

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