Combating Childhood Obesity With Provider Education: A Quantitative Study

Friday, 28 July 2017

Trina Larery, DNP, MSN
School of Nursing, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS, USA

The study included an educational program to providers and nurse practitioner

students in order to evaluate whether an increase in knowledge and accuracy occurred

based on knowledge of evidenced-based responses to specific indicators of childhood

overweight and obesity. It assessed the providers’ knowledge and sought to evaluate if

increased knowledge occurred after an educational program presentation. Following the

educational program, a follow-up survey was distributed via email to assess the providers

self-reported perceived practice change six weeks after the education.

Part one measured if an increase in knowledge of the 5210 components, correct

laboratory testing, and assessment of comorbidities occurred. The 5210 components

include recommendations on activity, screen time, sugary drinks, and diet from the

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Institute for Clinical Systems

Improvement (ICSI). Improved accuracy in applying diagnostic criteria based on current

evidenced-based practice guidelines in childhood obesity after the educational session

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 4-State APN (advanced practice

nurse) 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 t-test was conducted on the pretest and posttest

results. A six week follow-up study was performed utilizing comparative analysis

following the education. The follow-up surveys were distributed via email. The study

concluded with statistical significance (p <0.05) that the education provided increased

providers’ knowledge of current evidenced-based practice guidelines in childhood

obesity. All participants (n=41) had an increase in posttest scores after the education was

provided. Results from part two of the study indicated an increase in usage of the 5210

guideline components with patient education and an increase in comorbidity 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 continuing education

(CE) were found to be more familiar with the recommendations and have better

adherence to current evidence-based practice 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.