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D Abatemarco, College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA


Pediatric primary care providers play a critical role in managing obesity yet often lack the resources and support systems to provide effective care to children with obesity. This study aimed to identify perceived system-level barriers to managing obesity in the primary care setting, practices’ capacity for change, and resources desired by primary care providers to enhance their management of obesity. A cross-sectional 19-item survey on a 5-point Likert scale was electronically administered to 159 primary care providers from 25 practices within a large pediatric primary care network. Bivariate analyses were performed to compare survey responses based on provider or practice characteristics. Survey response rate was 69% (n = 109), with the majority of respondents being female (81%), a physician (53%), and without prior training in obesity management (78%). Time constraints during well visits (86%) and lack of ancillary staff (82%) were the most frequently reported barriers to obesity management. Despite these barriers, practices indicated a high capacity for change (higher scores in communication, decision-making and lower scores for stress). Information on community resources (92%), an on-site dietitian (89%), and exercise physiologist (85%) were the resources most frequently identified as being potentially helpful if integrated in the primary care setting. Providers who wanted more ancillary staff came from practices with a higher percentage of obese, Medicaid, and Hispanic patients. Providers with no prior obesity training as compared to those with prior obesity training were more likely to identify culturally sensitive handouts (96% vs. 79%, p = 0.016) as potentially helpful resources. Providers under the age of 45 were more likely to report that electronic health record tools (90% vs. 62%, p = 0.004) would be helpful. Overall, primary care providers reported a desire for community resources and on-site ancillary staff to assist in the management of childhood obesity within primary care.

Presentation: 19:46