Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network using technology to help prevent childhood obesity


In an effort to prevent childhood obesity, researchers are conducting a study at the Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network (PCN) using RIPPLE (the Resource Information Program for Parents on Lifestyle & Education). RIPPLE is a screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment program. It is designed to screen children’s weight status, deliver a brief intervention to parents related to children’s lifestyle behaviours, and provide referrals to treatment and other supportive resources for parents.


Researchers believe this program will help parents better identify their children’s diet and physical activity habits. Parents of 5 to 17 year olds can participate while they wait for their appointment with their pediatrician at the Allin Clinic. Using a tablet, they answer a series of questions related to their children’s eating and activity habits.


“Through this technology, parents are giving us better, more accurate information about their children’s lifestyles,” says Jillian Avis, a PhD candidate with the Department of Pediatrics (Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry) at the University of Alberta.



“We’re hoping to enhance parents’ awareness and increase their motivation to support children’s healthy lifestyle behaviors,” says Dr. Geoff Ball, associate professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. “We follow up after one month to determine what, if any, changes are taking place and to connect them to more resources, if necessary.”


This project is funded by a research grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, and Public Health Agency of Canada.



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