Family-centeredness of childhood obesity interventions: psychometrics & outcomes of the family-centered care assessment tool

Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2020 Jun 11;18(1):179. doi: 10.1186/s12955-020-01431-y.


Background: Incorporating family-centered care principles into childhood obesity interventions is integral for improved clinical decision making, better follow-through, and more effective communication that leads to better outcomes and greater satisfaction with services. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the psychometric properties of a modified version of the Family Centered-Care Assessment (mFCCA) tool and to assess the family-centeredness of two clinical-community childhood obesity interventions.

Methods: Connect for Health was a randomized trial testing the comparative effectiveness of two interventions that enrolled 721 children, ages 2-12 years, with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 85th percentile. The two arms were (1) enhanced primary care; and (2) enhanced primary care plus contextually-tailored, health coaching. At the end of the one-year intervention, the mFCCA was administered. We used Rasch analyses to assess the tool's psychometrics and examined differences between the groups using multiple linear regression.

Results: 629 parents completed the mFCCA resulting in an 87% response rate. The mean (SD) age of children was 8.0 (3.0) years. The exploratory factor analysis with 24 items all loaded onto a single factor. The Rasch modeling demonstrated good reliability as evidenced by the person separation reliability coefficient (0.99), and strong validity as evidenced by the range of item difficulty and overall model fit. The mean (SD, range) mFCCA score was 4.14 (0.85, 1-5). Compared to parents of children in the enhanced primary care arm, those whose children were in the enhanced primary care plus health coaching arm had higher mFCCA scores indicating greater perception of family-centeredness (β = 0.61 units [95% CI: 0.49, 0.73]).

Conclusions: Using the mFCCA which demonstrated good psychometric properties for the assessment of family-centered care among parents of children with obesity, we found that individualized health coaching is a family-centered approach to pediatric weight management.

Trial registration: NCT02124460.

Keywords: Childhood obesity; Family-centered outcomes; Pediatric weight management; Primary care.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Pediatric Obesity / psychology
  • Pediatric Obesity / therapy*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Reproducibility of Results

Associated data