PHILADELPHIA — Understanding and overcoming barriers to managing patients with overweight and obesity is taking on even greater importance as more patients are affected, according to a presenter here at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Kathleen Bornhoeft, DNP, APN-C, Drexel University, Philadelphia, cited data that indicate if current trends continue, health care expenditures in the United States attributable to overweight or obesity could exceed $957 billion by 2030.
To attempt to identify some of the most significant barriers to managing patients with weight issues, Bornhoeft conducted a survey.
“Obesity is a serious, chronic condition that has proven to be a gateway to ill health and one of the leading preventable causes of death and disability,” she wrote in her poster. “The primary goal and purpose of this project was to understand perceptions, attitudes and beliefs held by [primary care physicians (PCPs] on the subject of obesity, which may shed light on the barriers preventing effective obesity management … and to facilitate the creation of a structured and evidence-based management plan to help PCPs effectively manage obesity.”
Twelve PCPs with at least 1 year of primary care experience were interviewed.
According to Bornhoeft, common barriers cited in the survey included fear of embarrassing or offending patients as well as organizational, provider-centered and provider perception of patient obstacles.
She offered some solutions based on the responses she received.
“Future clinically and community-focused initiatives by [advanced practice registered nurses] must be innovative, are needed to support creation of multidisciplinary teams [and] will improve outcomes and reduce health care costs,” Bornhoeft wrote. “An integrated approach focused on patient satisfaction, population health and reducing health care costs should include and address the factors identified from the interviews.
“The end result should be a health care system focused on patients and one that uses an accountability-oriented, fee-for-value model to optimally provide patient-centered, evidence-based primary care,” she continued.
Bornhoeft noted that advanced practice registered nurses are well educated and positioned to advocate for these changes. – by Janel Miller
Bornhoeft K. “Perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of primary care providers towards obesity management.” Presented at: American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference; Jun. 20-25, 2017; Philadelphia.
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