Caregiver Knowledge about Nutritional Education Needs for Adolescents taking Antipsychotic Medications
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Background: Little is known about caregiver preferences and attitudes towards nutritional education modalities for caretakers of high-risk for obesity adolescents on anti-psychotic medications. Historically, after weight gain is established in an adolescent, the antipsychotic is switched to a more weight neutral medication that may not control symptoms as well. Purpose: To explore caregivers’ preferences towards nutritional education modalities and identify caregivers’ perceptions regarding their adolescent’s current eating habits and weight. Framework: “Plan, Do, Study, Act” or the PDSA framework, was used. Method/Design: A mixed methods design was used for this needs assessment conducted in a high-volume, adolescent, psychiatric outpatient urban clinic. Twenty-five caregivers of at high-risk for obesity adolescents were identified via chart review and administered a paper survey to identify educational needs and weight perceptions. Four of these participants completed an interview to provide anecdotal information to supplement survey data. Results: Most caregivers preferred education in the form of a pamphlet compared to other modalities. Data analysis with SPSS showed no significant correlation with client demographics and actual BMI, household income and weight perception, as well as income and education modality. Education themes identified in interviews included a main theme of reinforcing conscious awareness with multiple subthemes regarding individualized education. Conclusion: Caregivers preferred pamphlets for education regarding nutrition. This is information they can refer to after the provider appointment. Trends were discovered between ethnicity and weight perception, with Hispanic caregivers often underestimating their adolescent’s weight, which may contribute to obesity.