Home visitation programs that reach families of young children offer a unique opportunity to prevent early childhood obesity. Technology has become an integral part of continuing services as a result of COVID-19, yet no standardized digital curriculum targeting childhood obesity prevention currently exists.
To determine the perceptions and barriers of key stakeholders on using technology to enhance home visitation programs, as well as preferred digital learning formats related to the development of a digital nutrition education curriculum.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
Key stakeholders of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program (N = 27) in Florida participated in a one-time, 30-minute qualitative interview via Zoom with a trained researcher using a semi-structured script based on the Technology Acceptance Model.
Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded by two researchers using an inductive thematic approach.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of virtual home visits, participants expressed positive attitudes surrounding the use of technology, such as greater flexibility in scheduling and increased access to readily available information for both parents and home visitors. Further, they were receptive to continued virtual programming opportunities, but identified several barriers, including limited access to smartphones and internet access, privacy concerns, and lack of personal connection to parents. Recommendations included providing families with technology devices, using secure platforms, and developing brief digital nutrition education modules with interactive and personalized features.
Perceptions surrounding the use of technology for nutrition education in home visitation programs were positive. This promising formative research will be used to determine future directions for the development steps of a technology-based home visitation early childhood obesity prevention curriculum.
University of Florida Mowery Innovative Research Fund.
Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.029.
Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
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