Combating Childhood Obesity With Education: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study
Larery, Trina Marie
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Session presented on Sunday, September 18, 2016: The purpose of this study was to provide an educational program to providers and nurse practitioner students in order to evaluate whether an increase in knowledge and accuracy occurred based on correct answers to specific indicators of childhood obesity. It also aimed to determine if a self-perceived practice change occurred six weeks post education with the providers. This two part study evaluated the results of educating primary care providers on childhood obesity guidelines over a six week period. Part one measured if an increase in knowledge of the 5210 components, labs and assessment of comorbidities occurred. Improved accuracy in applying diagnostic criteria based on current practice guidelines in childhood obesity after education was provided was also evaluated. The second part of the study evaluated if a self-reported perceived practice change occurred six weeks post education. The target population was recruited from the 4State APN (advanced nurse practitioner) conference in March 2016. A pretest was given to participants followed by a power point presentation and concluded with a posttest. Once the surveys were complete a question and answer period followed. A paired t test was conducted on the pretest and posttest results. A six week follow up study was performed utilizing comparative analysis post education. The follow up surveys were sent out via email. The study concluded with statistical significance (p <0.05) that the education provided increased knowledge of the providers with current practice guidelines on childhood obesity. All respondents (n=41) had an increase in posttest scores after the education was provided. The qualitative results indicated an increase in usage of the 5210 guideline components with patient education and an increase in co-morbidity assessment. Current practice revealed low use and documentation of BMI, even though studies have established that the use of an accurate diagnosis of obesity is one of the highest indicators of treatment. Providers that participate in obesity related CE, were found to be more familiar with the recommendations and have better adherence to current guidelines. The findings of the study indicate that many providers are not aware of the current clinical practice guidelines in childhood obesity. Although information is readily available, providers must continuously update their knowledge to improve care for overweight and obese children. This study validates the need for continued educational programs for providers in childhood obesity.