Understanding Social Networks of KidFit Families

The KidFit Health and Wellness Clinic (KidFit) is a pediatric weight management clinic at Trillium Health Partners (THP) that provides family-based, inter-professional services including medical, mental health, dietetics, and activity therapy. To explore the social context of how people receive the program and the wider social networks that might influence individuals, this study aims to use social network analysis to understand who and what influence health behaviours for caregivers of children in KidFit and how ideas are shared throughout these networks. This study also focus on understanding what resources and services families utilize and what they wish they had access to in order to support the health and wellbeing of their families.

Working with Dr. Reza Yousefi-Nooraie from the University of Rochester, we conducted a social network analysis (SNA) with caregivers of children and youth participating in KidFit. Social Network Analysis is a research method to map and describe people’s social networks in order to understand the impact of sociological factors on health. This mixed-methods approach uses semi-structured interviews and a quantitative social network analysis to understand the caregivers’ social networks and how these networks relate to their child and family’s health. These include influential social relationships, resources, communication patterns, and information flow. Our findings will inform the development of family- and community-based approaches to paediatric health and well-being. This study is funded by a CIHR Embedded Clinician Researcher Salary Award.

FCHI led this project through the study design, data collection, and analysis and knowledge translation. FCHI’s work expands beyond research and the clinic to think about community partnerships in order to support the health and wellbeing of children and families within KidFit. 


D’Silva, C, Thompson, B, Fierheller, D, Martel, S, Yousefi Nooraie, R, Zenlea, I. Consider the context: An analysis of personal social networks of caregivers of children participating in a paediatric weight management program. Clinical Obesity. 2021;e12456. https://doi.org/10.1111/cob.12456

Yousefi Nooraie, R., Thompson, B., D’Silva, C., Zenlea, I., Tabatabaee, M., & Mohammad Aghaei, A. (2021). A fused mixed-methods approach to thematic analysis of personal networks: Two case studies of caregiver support networks. Network Science, 1-18.  https://doi.org/10.1017/nws.2021.4 

PARTNERHSHIPS: University of Toronto

FUNDER: Canadian Institutes of Health Research