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Obesity Training and Information Services - Europe [OBTAINS-E] [743838] - Operating Grant
Project abstract

This is the third year of a 3-year FPA. This year we propose to continue the work described in the FPA, disseminating good health care practices through our SCOPE online training programme, our SCOPE Schools and our SCOPE scholarship scheme. We will continue and expand our information activities using interactive maps and freely downloadable graphics showing obesity prevalence and trends, inequalities, co-morbidities, costs, upstream drivers, national policies and community interventions.

Variations on the original FPA proposals are (i) no further translation of the SCOPE online modules (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish are now available, German is not being requested); (ii) extending the SCOPE scholarship programme to encourage participation by health professionals in lower-income Member States; (iii) increasing the number of freely available downloadable graphics in minority languages to provide at least 30 graphics in each of the 24 working languages of the EU; (iv) increasing the number of community interventions mapped to at least 140 across the region; (v) extending the Atlas and Country Record Cards to provide longer Country Reports for each Member State.

Summary of context, overal objectives, strategic, relevance and contribution of the action

The evidence base for the rise in obesity in Europe and the consequential disease burden and health service costs are described in the Framework Partnership Agreement. The problem analysis led us to conclude:

(i) that effective treatment of already-obese adults in the EU is of high importance for reducing the disease burden in the community, and that the evidence for effective treatment methods and best practices should be disseminated across the region, to ensure a high level of professional skill in health service delivery and addressing inequalities in access and use of health services; and

(ii) that strategies for obesity prevention are also important, as these will have long-term benefits through improving health and economic wellbeing, and that these prevention strategies and associated policies and implementation plans should be developed on the basis of reliable evidence and accessible information.

In this application for a Specific Grant Agreement we outline the OBTAINS (OBesity Training And Information Services) programme of work for the European Region for the year 2016. The year 2016 is the second year of the programme, and builds on the work achieved for our web-based professional training course SCOPE (Specialist Certification in Obesity Professional Education) and for our data portal and mapping services.

The proposed programme of work will continue to support and add value to a number of current pan-European initiatives in the policy arena:
• The 3rd Health Programme and its priorities for preventing disease and supporting healthy lifestyles, reducing health inequalities, promoting cross-border medical expertise (including rare causes of obesity), and supporting evidence-based and cost-effective prevention and health promotion activities.
• The EU Action Plan on Childhood Obesity 2014-2020, which aims to support Member States to develop, implement and/or evaluate their own national action plan on childhood overweight and obesity, and to encourage Member States to share good practices and develop compatible tools to monitor their national policies on childhood overweight and obesity through a Joint Action (p.20).
• The European Regional Office of the World Health Organization‘s Food and Nutrition Action Plan 2015-2020, with its strategic goal ‘… to significantly reduce the burden of preventable diet-related non-communicable diseases, obesity and all other forms of malnutrition still prevalent in the WHO European Region, which are strongly influenced by social determinants of health and have a profound negative impact on well-being and quality of life.’ (p.ii)
• The continuing commitments made in the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. Our current Platform commitments include the development of web-based training for professional development and the promotion of evidence-based information on community interventions and policy mapping.

Methods and means

By the end of the third year (2017) we have:
• Expanded and consolidated SCOPE with additional training modules, and made the course more widely available by offering it in European languages (English, French, and also Spanish and Portuguese funded outside the OBTAINS-E budget); supported by SCOPE schools held in two EU Member States (UK, Greece).
• Provided facts, figures, graphics, and downloadable presentations, many of them in all official European Member State languages, along with a series of interactive maps for policy development and community interventions, in a format accessible to regular PCs and also to tablets and smartphones.

The work undertaken has been an integral part of the development of our training and information services identified in the 2015-2017 work plan described in the FPA. In particular, the 2017 work-programme extended the number of modules offered in the SCOPE training course,including modules translated and available in French and Spanish and Portuguese, and we will hold further SCOPE Schools.

New initiative: In 2017 we reduced the cost of access to the SCOPE online modules, amking the majority free of charge, and the remainder at a significantly lower cost, which is further reduced for professionals in the lower-income Member States.

Work performed during the reporting period

The 2017 Work Programme includes the following activities

Preparation of five new SCOPE modules published in English
Increasing the number of modules available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese
Maintaining the SCOPE course scholarship programme
Run two 2017 SCOPE Schools, one in a Member State with GNI < 90% EU mean
Produce at least 100 graphics in English available for downloading
Produce at least 30 graphics published in all official Member State languages
Produce interactive data maps updated in 2017, including social inequalities maps
Produce interactive updated policy and risk factor maps
Provide interactive maps showing at least 140 interventions covering all EU Member States
Publish updated Atlas and Country Record Cards for all EU Member States

The main output achieved so far and their potential impact and use by target group (including benefits)

We have provided the following 2017 Deliverables:

Six new SCOPE modules published in English - these are used by healthy professionals across Europe to maintain best practice guidance for obesity treatment (final modules completed mid 2018).

36 SCOPE modules available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, to ernsure access to wide number of EU health care professionals.

Provided SCOPE course scholarships to health care professionals from lower-income mMember States

Run two 2016 SCOPE Schools, one in London and one in Greece (GNI < 90% EU mean). The latter School was open to scholarships, and over 130 participants attended.

Provided over 100 graphics in English available for free downloading, to be used by researchers, advocacy and civil society groups, journalists and students.

Provided over 30 graphics available for free downloading and available in all official EU Member State languages, in order to ensure widespread access for researchers, advocacy and civil society groups, journalists and students.

Provided a series of interactive data maps, including data on social inequalities, available for free access by researchers, advocacy and civil society groups, journalists and students.

Provided a series of interactive policy and risk factor maps, available for free access by researchers, advocacy and civil society groups, journalists and students.

Provided interactive maps giving information on over 140 interventions covering all EU Member States, available for free access by researchers, advocacy and civil society groups, journalists and students.

Provided freely-available PDF documents in the form of an EU Atlas and Country Record Cards for all EU Member States, available to researchers, advocacy and civil society groups, journalists and students.

Achieved outcomes compared to the expected outcomes

The six SCOPE online course modules are still in production at the end of 2017. Otherwise all outcomes met or exceeded the expected outcomes.

Dissemination and evaluation activities carried out so far and their major results

We have undertaken widespread dissemination to members of the World Obesity Federation, to other mailing lists, to press lists and to networks of other health organisations and civil society groups. Presentation of the OBTAINS outputs have been made at the EU Platform (where OBTAINS is one of our Commitments). Downloads of our material have been monitored and reports on this are included in our annual report to the EU Platform database of commitments.