Closer to the Start Line

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September 7, 2016 by Nadia E. Browne

Both spring and summer have been very productive for the Readiness and Motivation Interview for Families (RMI-Family) Managing Pediatric Obesity project. Substantial progress has been made on all fronts as highlighted below. Later this fall, the RMI-Family project will be pilot tested. This pilot study will be done to pre-test all study instruments such as the RMI-Family interview, psychological questionnaires and databases. Conducting the RMI-Family pilot study can also allow our team to identify and address any potential problems which may occur in the full-scale study.

The RMI-Family Interview

The RMI-Family interview which examines individual- and family-level motivation has been revised. This interview will serve as the primary tool used for the project to measure the readiness and motivation of families to change lifestyle behaviors. Further changes may occur after the tool has been pilot tested.

Psychological Questionnaires

Several questionnaires will also be used to examine associations between individual- and family-level motivation to change, and psychosocial functioning, as well as qualities of the parent-child relationship. These will be administered using different formats, including electronic and paper.

REDCap and Labkey

REDCap and Labkey are two databases which will be used for the management of data and file sharing between the two study sites (Calgary and Edmonton). The REDCap database for the RMI-Family has already been built and tested for functionality. It is populated with all of the relevant variables that will be collected over the course of this study, including physical activity, health service utilization, nutrition, readiness and motivation to change lifestyle behaviors, demographics, anthropometrics, and psychological questionnaires. Labkey is another platform that will be used for sharing audio recordings of the RMI-Family interview to ensure that the research staff meet the standards of motivational interviewing required for the duration of this study.

Nutrition Intake and Physical Activity

The Waterloo Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (WEB-Q) is a web-based dietary assessment tool that has been tailored to meet the unique needs of the RMI-Family project. Recently, our team examined all foods and beverages in the database to identify and categorize “treat foods” as we will be assessing the relationship between family motivation and readiness to change lifestyle behaviors and consumption of treat foods over time. Actigraph GT3X accelerometers will be used to measure physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep. All accelerometers have been tested by our team to verify the functionality of each activity monitor.

Interview Training

Administration of the RMI-Family interview will be conducted by RMI-Family team members who are research staff. To date, one person has been certified as a motivational interviewing trainer for the RMI-Family project. Other interviewers have submitted additional rounds of mock interview training recordings to our motivational interviewing experts and will be certified motivational interviewers for the purpose of this project once they have successfully met the standard.

Research Ethics Amendments

Currently, we have a working paper of the RMI-Family Protocol, which is slated to be submitted for publication later this fall. This is being used to develop a research ethics protocol, which will be submitted to the Health Research Ethics Board at the University of Alberta later this week. Once the Health Research Ethics Board has approved the protocol, you will be the first to read about it.

According to Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Time flies over us but leaves its shadow behind.” The RMI-Family project encapsulates Hawthorne’s quote. The project has proven that time is fleeting but once used wisely, substantial progress can be made. We’ve accomplished a lot in several months; as a result, we are steps away from starting the RMI-Family pilot study.

See you at the start line later this fall!

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