Questions: 1) Describe the purpose of the study (1-2 sentences, 1 mark). The purpose of the study outlined in the article was to evaluate one of the fairly new intervention programs, MEND. 2) Describe the study design (just the design, not the intervention), including the number of children in the intervention and control groups (3-4 sentences, 2 marks). The particular study design was executed as a 6-month randomized controlled trial which consisted of a 9-week MEND program followed by a 12-week free family swim pass. Participants of this study began with a baseline, and then were randomly selected to start the program immediately or subsequently 6 months later (control group). In order to account for drop outs after the commencement of the study, it was designed to accommodate 48 children per group. In total, one hundred and sixteen obese children were a part of the entire study.
3) Describe the MEND study intervention, being sure to include all 3 components in your description. (4-5 sentences, 2 marks) The MEND study intervention comprises of multiple interrelated elements based on a variety of principles, theories and studies such as sports science, psychology and therapeutic processes. All three of the components outlined in the intervention are vital for individual-behavioral change. One of the components of the study is education, where experts will inform participants of customized eating habits, tips and advice to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The other elements in this study are skills training and motivational enhancement.
4) Describe the outcomes that were measured to assess the efficacy of the intervention. (2 marks, you may use point form). All the data collected at baseline, 6 and 12 months are taken by two researchers who have sufficient experience working with obese children. • Anthropometry-body weight, height and waist circumference were measured – Height and weight was measured respectively for participants and their mothers – These measurements were used to calculated BMI • Body Composition-deuterium dilution, used to measure participant’s total body water – the total body of water would aid in calculating the fat (and free) mass · Cardiovascular Healthcalculated heart rate/min after a 3-min step test (based on height) – Blood pressure was taken 3 times (the results of the second and third test were used to find an average)
• Physical (in)activity – Slemenda et al questionnaire used to survey the hours of physical activity, hard-core sports etc. • Self-esteem- Harter Self-Perception Profile created for UK children • Socioeconomic Classification- ethnic background and parent’s occupation were accounted for 5) Summarize the main results/findings of the study, referring to the specific outcome measurements you described in the above question (2 marks, you may use point form). • Anthropometry – 6 months • waist circumference, BMI + fat mass (not % body fat) were prominently less for children who participated in the intervention than the control group · control group did not have significant change for BMI and waist circumference
• improvement were seen in recovery heart rate, physical activity levels, sedentary activities and global self-esteem – 6 & 12 months • high beneficial reductions in waist circumference and BMI : improvements for blood pressure, recovery heart rate, physical activity level, and global self-esteem • no difference in children who attended 6 months and didn’t For the next two questions, you will critique the article by discussion both strengths and weaknesses or limitations of the study. You may discuss the study design, the intervention, outcomes measured, and/or findings. You will be required to discuss 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses. In your critique, you will also have to refer back to your readings from tutorial 2 and lecture or on other readings that you have found in your own research.
You MUST properly cite these other readings and sources using both in-text citations and a list of references at the end (both in APA format). 6) Discuss 3 distinct strengths of the study. Only one of the strengths you discuss can be one that was pointed out by the authors in the Strengths and Limitations section of the article. The other two MUST be from your own analysis and critical thinking and MUST include references (with in-text citations) to your readings for tutorial 2 and/or the lecture readings relevant to the topic. (~2-3 sentences per strength, 2 marks per strength, 6 marks total). a) Strength 1: One of the strengths outlined in the article is that participants who began the intervention completed it. Thus there were very few drop outs, implying that this intervention procedure had some beneficial aspects (Sachet et al., 2010).
b) Strength 2: Another strength is the flexibility of the program. This study doesn’t completely compose of strict rules and regulations. According to a study, when obese people voluntarily reduce their weight it will reduce negative emotions (Wilson., 1993). When studies are entirely strict with limited flexibility, participants will not voluntarily want to choose a healthy lifestyle potentially causing psychological effects. c) Strength 3: One strength is that they educate not only the participant, but also the family. One important thing learned during lectures was the fact that not only you but your surroundings such as your family and friends influence your life and the choices you make. Thus, by educating the families about healthy lifestyle, the participant is benefiting themselves. HAVE TO QUOTE For an instance, if one participant was trying to live a healthier life, and is family did not care as much and ate unhealthy junk foods 5 times a week, it wouldn’t be very easy, and thus there would be no sense of motivation.
7) Discuss 3 distinct weaknesses/limitations of the study. For each weakness/limitation, suggest how you would change the study to improve it. Only one of the weaknesses/limitations you discuss can be one that was pointed out by the authors in the Strengths and Limitations section of the article. The other two MUST be from your own analysis and critical thinking and MUST include references (with in-text citations) to your readings for tutorial 2 and/or the lecture readings relevant to the topic. (~3-4 sentences per weakness/limitation – remember that you must also suggest an improvement for each, 3 marks per weakness/ limitation, 9 marks total). a) Weakness/Limitation 1 + Suggested Improvement: One of the limitations mentioned in the article was the short follow-up at 12 months (Sachet et al., 2010). The quickness of the followup greatly impacts the study as one can only see the relative short-term improvements, whilst the long-term improvements are not considered.
When it comes to weight management, it is vital to examine the progress over a long period of time since improvements seen during a short span can fluctuate drastically. Thus, it would be wise to do a random improvement test annually for the next 5-10 years; this will allow researchers to keep a close eye on participants’ development over a long period of time. b) Weakness/Limitation 2 + Suggested Improvement: Another weakness in the study is the lack of correlation between weight management and genetics. The study does not seem to show any importance of genetic factors that could hugely impact one’s progress in the intervention. Ramos, Salas Ximena (2015) mentioned that public health programs tends to disregard the “complex drivers” associated with obesity such as genetics, food and psychology.
In order to improve the study, executors should incorporate a questionnaire completely based on geneticoriented questions (genetic disease etc.); this will help regulate other variables that may influence the intervention. c) Weakness/Limitation 3+ Suggested Improvement: As stated in the article all trainers from all sites that held the intervention had a 4-day training program, and were given similar material to cover (Sachet et al., 2010).
Even though precautions were taken to reduce variations of the intervention, there would have been some minor difference leading to discrepancies in the study. Everyone is not the same, and the way one executes a session may vary drastically from another. Thus it would be beneficial if the same group of people executed all trainings, although time consuming it would have been more effective. Or, assigning someone to observe all sessions for variations and altering any changes if necessary.