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Weight Management in Primary Care

Abstract Background: Obesity is a problem in present day primary care. Being overweight or obese affects more than one third of US adults, and has been known to lead to the development of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type II diabetes, and an overall poor state of health. Dietary and physical activity changes are the first line treatment for overweight or obese patients. Primary care providers report feeling overburdened in treating the overweight and obese, citing a lack of time and resources as primary reasons this issue is not addressed during visits. Purpose: To address this problem, a toolkit was developed for use by providers and patients based on current US Department of Health and Human Services dietary and physical activity recommendations accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation by the DNP student. Outcome: Data collection consisted of pre- and post - toolkit intervention provider surveys. The toolkit was instituted into provider practice for a 45-day period, and a follow-up survey was conducted. The common response was that the toolkit was a valuable educational resource as a first step to weight management education. An overall increase in provider awareness was seen and an improvement of perceptions of weight management patient education. Conclusion: The use of an educational resource packet was helpful in giving primary care providers an efficient and effective way to begin the process of weight management with patients in need. Outside factors such as patient motivation and the patients’ socioeconomic status have been found to be barriers to weight management. Keywords: Obesity, Overweight, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia, Type II Diabetes, Prevention Education, Weight management, Primary care, Toolkit, Lifestyle Modifications