The examination of the current practices of PNs, their self-efficacy and interest around child obesity prevention.

Project Status

Completed Projects

Project Coordinator

Alison Robinson

Chief Investigators

Elizabeth Denney-Wilson

Associate Investigators

Rachel Laws, Mark Harris, Alison Robinson


One in four children in Australia is overweight and Primary Care has been identified by the National Preventative taskforce as a crucial setting for obesity prevention across the lifespan. Practice nurses (PNs) are an under-utilised section of the primary care workforce, and are ideally placed to offer obesity prevention interventions to parents. To date, no previous research has examined the current practices of PNs or their self-efficacy or interest around child obesity prevention.


Using a mixed methods approach, this study aims to explore the practices, self-efficacy, interests and training needs of practice nurses around obesity prevention. The data will inform the next stage of the project, that is the development of a training workshop to increase the capacity of practice nurses to deliver brief child obesity prevention interventions to parents of children attending the 4-year old health check.

Design and Method

Nurses working in general practice in New South Wales will be participants in this mixed methods study. The study will consist of four phases: 1) State wide survey of PNs to establish current practice, perceived self-efficacy, interest, attitudes and training needs around child obesity prevention, particularly in reference to the 4 year-old health check; 2) Interviews conducted with a purposeful sample of PNs to explore how best to integrate obesity prevention strategies into 4 year-old health check and to inform the design of a training workshop to be provided to PNs in phase 3; 3) Pilot study of the delivered intervention consisting of a training workshop for PNs in the use of brief intervention and motivational interviewing, and the provision of assessment tools, client support materials and referral pathways; 4) Evaluation at 3 months to assess the effectiveness of the intervention regarding changes in PN self-efficacy, attitudes and practices related to child obesity prevention. Interviews with participating PNs will also be conducted in this phase to understand the implementation of the obesity prevention intervention and to further refine the workshop content, practice and patient materials.


Elizabeth Denney-Wilson Email:


Faculty of Medicine, Early Career Research Grant

Project lead centre
Project stream
Prevention and Management of Long Term Conditions
Project start date
Project end date