Physical activity, dietary habits and overall health in overweight and obese children and youth with intellectual disability or autism
ABSTRACT In children and youth with disability, the risk of obesity is higher and is associated with lower levels of physical activity, inappropriate eating behaviors, and chronic health conditions. We determined the effectiveness of a program in managing weight, through changes in physical activity and nutrition behaviors in overweight and obese New Zealand children and youth with intellectual disability or autism. Twenty-two children and youth 14±4 y (mean±SD) and their families participated in a 10-week school-based program. The program consisted of 18 sessions focusing on physical activity and nutrition. Changes were measured immediately after completion of the program (post 1) and at 24 weeks (follow up). Fitness was assessed with the six-minute walk-test (6MWT) and body fatness via waist circumference and BMI. Physical activity and nutrition changes were measured by means of proxy reporting and interviews with parents. Individual interviews were conducted with school teachers and program leaders at 24 weeks to gain feedback regarding the program. Most quantitative outcomes were either unclear or trivial. The only possible change was observed in the six-minute walk-test where 24 weeks post program where participants walked 51m further. There was however, a substantial reduction in the consumption of confectionery and chocolate at the two measurement points. Parents commented that during the program there were less hospital visits and absences from school related to illness. The program assisted in the development of a supportive community network and participants' abilities to partake in family and community activities. This the first study to report on the results of a physical activity and nutrition program targeted in children and youth with intellectual disability and autism. The results of this study may support and inform future developments of an integrated weight management and prevention program to enhance the health and well being in children and youth with disabilities.
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ABSTRACT: Background Evidenced-based health promotion programmes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are notably absent. Barriers include a lack of understanding of how to adapt existing evidence-based programmes to their needs, maximize inclusion and support mutual goals of health and autonomy.Methods We undertook a community-engaged process to adapt a school-based nutrition intervention in a residential school for youth with I/DD. Focus groups and interviews with school staff elicited recommendations for adaptation strategies; these were then reviewed by an expert panel.ResultsAdaptations were developed to address needs in three categories: food-related challenges among students, adjusting to change and transition and social environment factors. Choice and heterogeneity were overarching themes across the adaptation categories.Conclusions Future research should consider community-engaged approaches for adaptation so that youth with I/DD can participate and benefit from evidence-based health promotion programmes to their maximum potential.Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities 06/2014; 27(6). DOI:10.1111/jar.12104 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We examined the content validity of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ Young Child Self-report (PedsQL™-YC) in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability and made recommendations for the development of a quality of life (QOL) measure. Ten children, 14 parents, and three teachers were recruited for focus groups and interviews. Focus groups and interviews were conducted to obtain their perceptions about the appropriateness of the PedsQLTM-YC (Phase 1). Based on the results from Phase 1, recommendations for a QOL measure for children with ASD and intellectual disability were made (Phase 2). After piloting a QOL measure by children and subsequent interviews, further refinement was undertaken (Phase 3). Data from Phases 1 and 3 were analysed using thematic and content analyses. Findings suggest that a QOL measure for children with ASD and intellectual disability should be related specifically to the children’s daily life and contexts. Due to the specific cognitive and behavioural characteristics of this population, the wording, response options and presentation style of the existing PedsQL™-YC would need refinement. Questions about social interactions with friends appeared less relevant to children with ASD. These recommendations address the wording and formatting issues needed for a QOL measure for use in children with ASD and intellectual disability identified through qualitative research methods. Further research is needed to include additional or modified questions in the social domain.Child Indicators Research 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12187-015-9307-5 · 0.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sleep-related problems are often documented in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). This study examined physical activity as a variable that might influence sleep quality in children with ASD. Ten children, ages 9-16 years, were asked to wear accelerometer devices for 7 days in order to track objective measures of activity and sleep quality. Parents of the children also completed the Child's Sleep Habits Questionnaire and maintained a daily sleep log while their child wore the device. This study demonstrated that though over half of the children were identified as having at least one sleep-related problem, their activity levels were significantly related to their sleep patterns. Specifically, the more physically active children had overall higher sleep quality.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2424-7 · 3.06 Impact Factor