Promoting Healthy Active Living From Birth with ReadNPlay for a Bright Future

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Purpose To describe: (1) development of ReadNPlay for a Bright Future with community stakeholders, (2) integration of a novel communicative tool, the ReadNPlay Baby Book, into infant-toddler well child visits, and (3) use of a quality improvement approach to monitor progress in promoting healthy active living in families with young children.

Methods ReadNPlay for a Bright Future is funded by a grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Metlife Foundation awarded to the East Tennessee State University Department of Pediatrics and Tennessee Chapter of the AAP. The setting for this project is in rural southern Appalachia, a U.S. region with a disproportionately high prevalence of obesity. During a community forum held in Northeast Tennessee in fall 2012, community stakeholders provided feedback to help finalize project materials and messages developed by the project team around four themes: Play More: Shut off the Screen, Play Together: Be Active as a Family, Fuel to Play: Eat Healthy, and Play Safely. A behavioral health consultant (BHC) assisted with provider training in brief motivational interviewing and behavioral counseling and project implementation in the clinic. An anonymous mothers' survey was designed to identify opportunities for improving behaviors and monitor progress in promoting healthy active living during well child visits. Process measures and feedback will be obtained from provider surveys and focus groups with parents and providers.

Results As of February 2013, the ReadNPlay Baby Book is being provided to families starting at the newborn visit. The book contains age-appropriate guidance and areas for parents to record their baby's growth, milestones, eating habits, favorite books, and activities between birth and 18 months. Families are receiving small incentives for bringing it to each well child visit. A companion Healthy Active Living Tips booklet encourages healthy behaviors in the whole family. Use of social media, posters, and periodic community events provide reinforcement. A total of 80 mothers with infants 9-24 months of age are completing anonymous surveys during well child visits every 4-6 months (mostly Caucasian, 70% WIC recipients). Baseline surveys with mothers of younger infants (9-12 months of age) suggest: 60% of mothers are reading or looking at books with their infants on most days of the week; 80% of infants watch at least 30 minutes of television and 48.7% drink juice on a typical day; 82% of infants were ever-breastfed; 20% of mothers had sought care for their infants due to an injury; and 13.2% of infants routinely bed-share. Over 80% of all mothers wished that they themselves could get more exercise.

Conclusion ReadNPlay for a Bright Future is using novel communication tools, community partnerships, and quality improvement methodology to encourage healthy active living during infant-toddler well child visits


Orlando, Fl

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