Global Health Nursing Research in Guangzhou, China

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:55 AM

Lee-Ellen Kirkhorn, PhD, RN
Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI
Peiru Zhou, RN
Nursing: Out-Patient Services, The First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
Anja F. Meerwald, SN
Nursing Department, University of Wisconsin: Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI

Learning Objective 1: Synthesize knowledge about inter-cultural research regarding primary prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Learning Objective 2: Value differences and similiarites between Chinese and American approaches to obesity prevention among middle-school aged youth.

Purpose: Approximately one fifth of the one billion overweight or obese people in the world are Chinese. China was once considered to have one of the leanest populations, but it is fast catching up with the West in terms of the prevalence of overweight and obesity; disturbingly, this transition has occurred in a remarkably short time.

Methods: Using a simple quasi-experimental design, more than 200 students from two economically and socially diverse middle schools in China were enrolled in a three week after school nutrition and exercise program that included structured information about balanced diet, eating healthy food, and engaging in regular physical activity. The investigative team surveyed students using an instrument designed to explore nutrition and exercise practices as well as electronic screen time and to compare BMI before and after the intervention.  Investigators included an American nursing group (two Nurse Educators and three undergraduate students) and Chinese nurses from the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University --Guangzhou, China.

Results: Survey data using SPSS will be shared in tabular presentations representing descriptive data collected from the two Chinese middle schools. Inter-correlations among the study variables of BMI, screen time, self-appraisal of exercise and eating habits will be included in the analysis. The experience of conducting inter-cultural research with undergraduate students from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and with Chinese middle school students, RNs and translators will be addressed. Limitations of the study and implications for future study will be covered.

Conclusion: Continuation of the study with a comparison group of rural Wisconsin students from an economically disadvantaged community and with international students who presently reside in Wisconsin will also be presented as work in progress.

Project was supported by the Center for International Education and by the Department of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences.