BMC Public Health
Springer / BMC
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Healthway Health Promotion grant
Outside-of-school-hours-care (OSHC) services are well positioned to influence the health behaviours of 489, 800 Australian children, and are an important setting for health promotion given the current rates of childhood overweight and obesity and associated health risks. OSHC Professionals are ideally placed to become positive influencers in this setting, although they may require training and support to confidently perform this role. This study piloted a multifaceted intervention strategy to increase OSHC Professional’s confidence and competencies, to support a health promoting OSHC environment with a nutrition and physical activity focus.
A mixed methods approach was used. Nineteen OSHC Professionals participated in the study, including a face-to-face workshop, supported by a closed Facebook group and website. Role adequacy (self-confidence) and legitimacy (professional responsibility) were measured pre and post workshop and evaluated using non-parametric statistics. Facebook interactions were monitored, and four participants undertook qualitative exit interviews to discuss their experiences with the intervention.
Pre-workshop 68% of participants had not received any OSHC-specific health promotion training. Post-workshop significant improvements in confidence about menu planning, accessing nutrition information, activities and recipes was observed (P < 0.05 for all). A significant improvement was observed in role support and role related training (P < 0.05). A high level of support and interaction was observed between participants on Facebook and the website was reported a useful repository of information.
Health promotion training, combined with positive social connections, shared learning experiences, and a website improved OSHC Professionals confidence and capacity to provide a health promoting OSHC environment. Health promotion professional development for OSHC professionals should be mandated as a minimum requirement, and such learning opportunities should be scaffolded with support available through social media interactions and website access.
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Exercise, nutrition, lifestyle and other interventions for optimal health across the lifespan