Are School Nurses an Overlooked Resource in Reducing Childhood Obesity? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Krista Schroeder, Jasmine Travers, Arlene Smaldone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Schools are a key setting for childhood obesity interventions, yet nurses are not often included in delivering these interventions. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine school-based interventions involving nurses in a role beyond anthropometric measurement for effect on change in body measures. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of these papers. Results: The literature search produced 2412 articles. Eleven met inclusion criteria for the systematic review (4 randomized controlled trail [RCT], 7 quasi-experimental) and 8 for the meta-analysis. None have been included in prior meta-analyses. Four studies restricted eligibility to overweight and/or obese children; 7 included all children regardless of body weight. Random effects meta-analytic models represent data from 6050 (body mass index [BMI]), 5863 (BMIz), and 416 (BMI percentile) children, respectively. Pooled analyses demonstrated statistically significant decreases in BMI (6 studies: -0.48 [95% CI -0.84, -0.12]; I2=91.2%, Q=68.1), BMIz (5 studies: -0.10 [95% CI: -0.15, -0.05]; I2=0, Q=2.3), and BMI percentile (3 studies: -0.41 [95% CI: -0.60, -0.21]; I2=0, Q=2.0). Conclusions: These findings are similar to those of other meta-analyses of school-based interventions and suggest that school nurses can play a key role in implementing sustainable, effective school-based obesity interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-321
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Childhood obesity
  • Meta-analysis
  • Nurses
  • Schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Are School Nurses an Overlooked Resource in Reducing Childhood Obesity? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this