Interactive Casebook sets the stage for positive conversations about childhood weight and wellness

TORONTO, ON (November 28, 2017) – Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital has launched a practical, evidence-based, and interactive resource called Fostering positive weight-related conversations: Evidence and real-life learnings from the heart of care (a Knowledge Translation (KT) Casebook). The Casebook will arm health care professionals with the resources they need to best help growing kids and their families.

“It’s important that we provide practical tools to support health professionals in having positive weight-related conversations and empower clients and families to ask questions,” says Dr. Amy McPherson, scientist, Holland Bloorview, and co-principal investigator of the Casebook. “Our vision is to break down barriers to having these conversations by sharing knowledge, providing tips, and ensuring that we work together to foster positive changes and support the wellness of all kids and their families.”

Developed in partnership with researchers, scientists, families, and children and youth, the Casebook focuses on driving positive weight-related and wellness conversations. It features summaries of research evidence around weight-management conversations, experiences of practicing health care professionals, and real-life stories from children and caregivers. The Casebook aims to provide practical information on how to talk about weight and healthy living so that health care professionals feel well-equipped and supported to have these conversations with their patients and families.

"Growing up as a child who struggled with obesity, poor communication and stringent views on how to speak with children about weight-management led to not only a severely strained relationship with my parents, but to more weight gain and physical and mental health stress,” says Brenndon Goodman, student at York University and member of the Canadian Obesity Network. “Had the invaluable information in the KT Casebook been available, I believe my childhood would have led a much healthier path.”

Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics also released findings on the prevalence of weight stigma on pediatric patients and their families, further supporting the need for raised awareness around weight and wellness and how these conversations should take place between a family and a health care provider.

“Talking to families about weight should not be difficult. Unfortunately, stigma and fear of judgement can make it awkward to start the conversation, especially when a healthy lifestyle is challenged by disability. This Casebook is a unique resource that can help guide productive conversations between families and health care providers,” says Susan Cosgrove, parent, and Casebook collaborator.

The KT Casebook features interactive elements including videos, links to external resources, graphics, photos, and case studies for the use of health care professionals across many disciplines. These include nurses, dietitians, physicians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and all clinicians who work with children.

“This is a fantastic resource that I can see myself using in my practice, and come back to time after time to help me know what to do and how to start positive conversations in different clinical situations and clients,” says Catharine Petta, a nurse at Holland Bloorview.

Download the Casebook here.


About Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital and cares for kids with disabilities and medical complexity, and provides rehabilitation after illness or trauma. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Holland Bloorview serves nearly 7,500 children and youth annually accounting for over 1,000 unique diagnoses. Holland Bloorview is a global leader in disability research, teaching, and client- and family-centered care. Holland Bloorview pioneers treatments, technologies, therapies and real-world programs that give kids with disabilities the tools to participate fully in life. For more information, visit