Original Article

Child Overweight Interventions in Rural Primary Care Practice: A Survey of Primary Care Providers in Southern Appalachia

Authors: Tiejian Wu, MD, PhD, Fred Tudiver, MD, Jim L. Wilson, MD, Jose Velasco, MD

Abstract

Child overweight has reached an epidemic level throughout the United States. A total of 65 primary care providers in southern Appalachia were surveyed to understand current issues in addressing child overweight in rural primary care practice. The study shows that while providers realized the importance of child overweight intervention, many were not ready and did little to address child overweight in their practices. The providers' skill levels in addressing child overweight were generally less than sufficient. Common barriers to child overweight treatment included lack of parental motivation and involvement, lack of supportive services, and lack of clinician time. In conclusion, rural primary care is facing many challenges in addressing child overweight. However, with more training in behavioral intervention skills and through establishing a family-based intervention and a group visit approach, primary care providers could play a more active role in the fight against the epidemic of child overweight.


Key Points


* The epidemic of child overweight has been shown to be more severe in Appalachia than in non-Appalachia.


* Most providers were not ready and did little to address child overweight in their practices.


* Primary care providers could play a more active role in the fight against the epidemic of child overweight.

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