Prévention des maladies cardiométaboliques par modification des habitudes de vie de l'enfant: mise à profit des sciences comportementales

 

Olivier Drouin

Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte Justine

 

Domaine : santé de la mère, des enfants et des adolescents

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2019-2020

Heart disease is a leading cause of deaths in adults, but early signs are often present in childhood. Healthy behaviours, such as physical activity, good nutrition, and low screen time, help reduce the risk of heart disease. These behaviours often develop in childhood and track into adult life, highlighting the need to address them early in life. Behaviour change has however proven very difficult to achieve. New discoveries in behaviour change have shown great potential, but have yet to be tested for improving health behaviours in children.

My research program seeks to improve the design of interventions aimed at promoting healthy behaviours in children. Specifically, I will use a variety of methods to first understand factors leading to children and families either staying in or dropping out of behaviour change programs. Next, I will investigate what are the barriers and facilitators that children and families perceive contribute to the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours. Finally, I will collaborate with patients, families, and other health professionals to develop a new strategy to help children engage in healthy lifestyle behaviours and thus reduce their risk of heart disease.

This program is unique in that it involves patients and families during the entire research process. It also uses innovative findings about behaviour change that have never been tested to improve health behaviours in children at high risk of heart disease. The knowledge I will produce from this program will help develop new ways to shape behaviour change programs to better help children at high risk of heart disease. It will also help me to prepare a larger-scale investigation aimed at testing these new strategies before expanding it to other behaviour change programs, and potentially helping prevent heart diseases and other chronic conditions among thousands of young Quebecers.