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Perceptions of Adolescents with Overweight and Obesity for the Development of User-Centered Design Self-Management Tools within the Context of the Chronic Care Model: A Qualitative Study

Published:October 23, 2015DOI:



      The Chronic Care Model (CCM) is helpful to illustrate multiple levels of influence in the management of chronic disease, such as overweight and obesity in adolescents. Unfortunately, various constraints create gaps in the management process activities performed within the CCM. Consumer health technologies (CHT) may serve as a linkage between adolescents with overweight or obesity, their parents, and their pediatricians.


      To conduct formative research to qualitatively identify views of adolescents with overweight and obesity on use of consumer health technologies to manage weight loss across chronic care management settings.


      As part of a multi-perspective qualitative study, 10 focus groups were conducted with adolescents with overweight and obesity.


      Forty-eight adolescents (15 male, 33 female) aged 12 to 17 years who were current participants of an intensive lifestyle change camp in the summer of 2012 participated in focus groups. All adolescents were classified as overweight (21%) or obese (79%) according to body mass index (BMI) for age charts published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


      All focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and checked for accuracy. Predefined and open coding were used to analyze transcripts for emerging themes.


      Adolescents perceive CHT, with its functional requirements of assistance with restaurant food selection, teaching cooking skills, and providing encouragement and motivation, to be helpful with overweight and obesity self-management. Desired features to carry out these functional requirements included avatars, self-monitoring capabilities, social networking, and rewards.


      Our findings largely agree with previously reported parental perceptions of the benefit of CHT for adolescent overweight and obesity self-management and strengthen support for the design and implementation of CHT within the CCM.


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      A. L. Knoblock-Hahn is an assistant adjunct professor, School of Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University, St Louis, MO, and health promotion & disease prevention program manager, St Louis VA Healthcare System, St Louis, MO.


      R. Wray is an associate professor, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, St Louis, MO.


      C. M. LeRouge is an associate professor, Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle.