Barriers to the management of obesity in children: A cross sectional survey of GPs

Dettori, Helen, Elliott, Helen, Horn, Janette and Leong, Gary (2009) Barriers to the management of obesity in children: A cross sectional survey of GPs. Australian Family Physician, 38 6: 460-464.

Author Dettori, Helen
Elliott, Helen
Horn, Janette
Leong, Gary
Title Barriers to the management of obesity in children: A cross sectional survey of GPs
Journal name Australian Family Physician   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-8495
Publication date 2009-06
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 38
Issue 6
Start page 460
End page 464
Total pages 5
Editor Jenni Parsons
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic., Australia
Publisher Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 111403 Paediatrics
111704 Community Child Health
Formatted abstract
Background: General practitioners have been identified as having a key role in promoting healthy weight. In 2006, the South East Alliance of General Practice - Brisbane (Ltd) was approached by the Mater Children's Hospital to participate in the KOALA (Kinder Overweight Activity Lifestyle Actions) at Mater Healthy Lifestyle study. Between June 2007 and January 2008, only 14 eligible children were identified and referred to the KOALA study by participating GPs - a much lower referral rate than the study required. The aim of this study was to investigate barriers among GPs to the assessment of overweight and obesity in children aged 6-10 years.

Methods: A survey was administered to 49 GPs. The main outcome measures were: perceptions about child overweight and obesity as a medical problem, the GP's role in management, and the use of body mass index for age percentile charts to identify overweight and obesity.

Results: Of the 33 (67%) respondents, 93% agreed child overweight and obesity was a medical problem, that GPs had a role in management, and that the KOALA study had made them more aware of identifying overweight children. Only 57% however, reported changing their practice.

Discussion: Although most GPs agreed they had a role in management and felt confident to assess overweight and obesity in children, only a minority were putting this into practice, suggesting there are other barriers. Practice systems that facilitate implementation of National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines may need to be put in place.
Keyword General practice
Obesity in children
Physical fitness for children
Health and hygiene
Overweight children
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:01:02 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Medicine