Screening and managing obesity: understanding paediatric residents' knowledge, attitudes and practice

Vickie Wu, Carolyn Rosen, Stephanie Pan, Leora Mogilner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study purpose Prior studies have identified paediatric attending physicians' screening and management patterns related to overweight/obesity, but less is known about resident physicians' behaviour. The objective was to understand paediatric resident physicians' knowledge, attitude and practice patterns of overweight/obesity screening and management. Study design We performed a retrospective chart review of preventive visits conducted by residents between August and October 2019. Charts of patients 2-18 years with body mass index ≥85th percentile at the visit were reviewed (85th-<95th for age and sex defined as overweight, ≥95th defined as obese). A survey was distributed to residents assessing knowledge, attitudes and barriers towards obesity management. Results Of 1250 visits reviewed, 405 (32%) patients met the criteria for overweight or obesity. 39% were identified correctly by the provider, 53% were not identified and 8% were identified incorrectly. 89% of patients had diet history, 31% had physical activity and 43% had family history documented. Patients with obesity received physical activity documentation/counselling, portion size counselling, at least one referral, laboratory tests and a diagnosis more often than overweight patients. 84% of residents completed the survey. Although the majority of residents felt € somewhat' or € very' well prepared to counsel families about overweight/obesity, the majority thought their counselling on overweight/obesity was € not at all' or € slightly' effective. Conclusion Despite residents feeling prepared and comfortable discussing overweight/obesity with patients, these diagnoses were often under-recognised or incorrectly made and appropriate counselling was lacking. Future work will focus on specific strategies to improve diagnosis, screening and management of overweight/obesity and include educational interventions and electronic medical record adaptations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-433
Number of pages6
JournalPostgraduate Medical Journal
Issue number1160
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022


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