Health care providers’ weight management practices for adolescent obesity and alignment with clinical practice guidelines: a multi-centre, qualitative study Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract Background Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) include evidence-based recommendations for managing obesity in adolescents. However, information on how health care providers (HCPs) implement these recommendations in day-to-day practice is limited. Our objectives were to explore how HCPs deliver weight management health services to adolescents with obesity and describe the extent to which their reported practices align with recent CPGs for managing pediatric obesity. Methods From July 2017 to January 2018, we conducted a qualitative study that used purposeful sampling to recruit HCPs with experience in adolescent weight management from multidisciplinary, pediatric weight management clinics in Edmonton and Ottawa, Canada. Data were collected using audio-recorded focus groups (4–6 participants/group; 60–90 min in length). We applied inductive, semantic thematic analysis and the congruent methodological approach to analyze our data, which included transcripts, field notes, and memos. Qualitative data were compared to recent CPGs for pediatric obesity that were published by the Endocrine Society in 2017. Of the 12 obesity ‘treatment-related’ recommendations, four were directly relevant to the current study. Results Data were collected through three focus groups with 16 HCPs (n = 10 Edmonton; n = 6 Ottawa; 94% female; 100% Caucasian), including dietitians, exercise specialists, nurses, pediatricians, psychologists, and social workers. We identified three main themes that we later compared with CPG recommendations, including: (i) discuss realistic expectations regarding weight management (e.g., shift focus from weight to health; explore family cohesiveness; foster delayed vs instant gratification), (ii) personalize weight management (e.g., address personal barriers to change; consider developmental readiness), and (iii) exhibit non-biased attitudes and practices (e.g., de-emphasize individual causes of obesity; avoid making assumptions about lifestyle behaviors based on weight). Based on these qualitative findings, HCPs applied all four CPG recommendations in their practices. Conclusions HCPs provided practical insights into what and how they delivered weight management for adolescents, which included operationalizing relevant CPG recommendations in their practices.

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publication date

  • December 2020