Assessment Tools and Diagnostic Tests Evaluation
Gathering reliable data is critical to developing the most effective healthcare interventions. Unfortunately, the delicate nature of health status components and varying factors in the healthcare environment impact the validity and reliability of assessment and diagnostic tools (Noble & Smith, 2015). For example, childhood obesity is one of the most prevalent pediatric diseases attributed to unhealthy eating habits and genetics. However, several other factors contribute to the condition, calling for evidence-based diagnostic and assessment techniques for the best results. This essay investigates the health issues and risks relevant to a 5-year-old girl living with obese parents, reliable diagnostic tools for her case, and solutions for a proactive healthcare approach.
Health Issues and Risks
Even though the five-year-old girl in the case exhibits normal weight and health, she is exposed to factors that increase her risk of obesity. Generally, being overweight results from excess sugar intake, genetics, and diminished physical activity (Gibbs & Chapman-Novakofski, 2012). Both of the girl’s parents are obese, meaning that she is genetically pre-disposed. Additionally, the girl’s homeschooling increases her risk as she does not engage in sufficient physical activities. Moreover, she does have not any control over her diet or food. Childhood obesity is associated with short and long-term health risks that impact physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing (Martin et al., 2014). Therefore, it is critical to evaluate her health status using effective tools to determine her health risks and predisposition.
Obese children often suffer from medical conditions like elevated blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver diseases, bone, and joint issues, respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues, premature puberty, eating disorders, skin infections, and fatigue. Additionally, they are exposed to psychological problems because they are teased most of the time. As a result, they are likely to bully others, develop poor social skills, stress, anxiety, sleeping disorders, and social alienation. Moreover, these children do not outgrow their weight issues, thus exposing them to strokes, cancer, diabetes, and dementia (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2018). Therefore, it is essential to gather sufficient information to address all aspects of the condition and offer solutions.
Additional Information Required to Understand the Child’s Weight-Related Health
The primary goal of pediatric obesity treatment is to facilitate long-term physical health improvement by initiating healthy living. Apart from body size, height, and weight, other vital indicators to understand a child’s weight-related issues are; the family/patient’s medical history, blood pressure, aerobic fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility (Ball et al., 2019). Moreover, it is crucial to investigate their resting metabolic rate, blood chemistry, gross motor function, dietary behavior, nutrition, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and psychological condition (Seidel, 2011). Therefore, a comprehensive clinical assessment is necessary to establish additional health concerns.
How to Gather Information in a Sensitive Fashion
The most reliable tool to diagnose pediatric obesity is anthropometry, involving analyzing body mass index (BMI) and measuring waist circumference. The body mass index is a technique that compares the child’s height and weight to identify abnormalities. Unfortunately, its validity and reliability depend on a good correlation with total body fat measurements. The technique cannot distinguish between lean mass and fat mass, it does not reflect stunting, and it does not determine body fat distribution (Noble & Smith, 2015). It is also advisable to carry out a nutritional status assessment to verify body and growth proportions relative to the child’s age using growth charts. Also, comprehensive screening and imaging exams like CT, X-rays, or MRI are crucial to identify hepatic and cardio-metabolic risk factors (Dains et al., 2015). Some questions to ask the parents and caregivers for more information about the child’s condition are;
- Are you cautious of your daughter developing critical health concerns, and what are some of the conditions you fear she might develop?
- How often do you take the initiative to investigate your daughter’s health status and assess her mental health condition?
- What strategies do you have in place to ensure that your daughter develops positive health status and attributes?
Approaches towards Ensuring Proactive Healthcare Development
Obesity is an untreatable health condition, especially in its later stages. However, there are several approaches towards its prevention and management. The most recommended methods to positive health development are ensuring healthy eating habits and an active lifestyle (Gibbs & Chapman-Novakofski, 2012). The five-year-old girl is genetically predisposed to obesity because both of her parents suffer from the condition. Therefore, it is advisable to implement a healthy diet during her early development stages to promote healthy eating habits. Her parents and caretakers should ensure that they cut down on sugary food, high fat/calories, prioritize fruits and vegetables, serve appropriate meal sizes, develop positive eating habits as a family, and avoid fast foods.
Additionally, her parents should develop ways to promote her physical health by engaging her in physical activities/exercises. Instead of homeschooling, the girl’s parents should enroll her in an institution to interact with others and maintain an active lifestyle. Children in educational institutions are exposed to several advantages due to a reliable curriculum and trained mentors who ensure mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing (Martin et al., 2014). Moreover, the girl will work on her social skills and learn how to develop positive relationships.
An individual’s environment plays a critical role in the incidence of obesity as it impacts the ability to make healthy life choices. Thus, it is vital to adopt practical preventive approaches using reliable assessment and diagnostic tools to identify the condition in its pre-development stages. However, medical practitioners must ensure data validity and reliability for evidence-based and tailored interventions. Assessment and evaluation tools such as the BMI, clinical examinations, and growth charts are reliable. Thus, practitioners should integrate other techniques to identify underlying issues that might impact a patient.
Ball, J. W., Dains, J. E., Flynn, J. A., Solomon, B. S., & Stewart, R. W. (2019). Seidel’s guide to physical examination: An interprofessional approach (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO Elsevier Mosby.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (2018). Childhood overweight & obesity. Web.
Dains, J. E., Baumann, L. C., & Scheibel, P. (2015). Advanced health assessment & clinical diagnosis in primary care. (6th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.
Gibbs, H., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2012). Exploring nutrition literacy: Attention to assessment and the skills clients need. Health, 4(3), 120–124. Web.
Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence-Based Nursing, 18(2), 34-35. Web.
Martin, B. C., Dalton III, W. T., Williams, S. L., Slawson, D. L., Dunn, M. S., & Johns‐Wommack, R. (2014). Weight status misperception as related to selected health risk behaviors among middle school students. Journal of School Health, 84(2), 116-123. Web.
Seidel, H. M. (2011). Mosby’s guide to physical examination. (7th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences.