Major barriers in treating high obesity patients in US are lack of time, lack of reimbursement, and lack of knowledge by the providers, according to a team of researchers at George Washington University. The findings of the study are published in the journal Obesity.
In this study, the authors conducted a web-based survey of a nationally representative sample of 1506 internists, family practitioners, obstetricians/gynecologists, and nurse practitioners to determine their understanding of obesity treatment guidelines. The results indicate that most providers lack knowledge and understanding of recommended obesity treatments , such as behavioral counseling and pharmacotherapy.
Author William Dietz, MD, PhD, FTOS, Past President of The Obesity Society, Director of the STOP Obesity Alliance and Chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, said, "Our findings offer health professionals and medical educators a strong rationale for incorporating enhanced training on the prevention and management of obesity into their curricula."
Additionally, Robert Kushner, MD, FTOS, examines the impact of this study. "The study suggests that more obesity education is needed among primary health care providers that focuses on knowledge along with enhanced competencies in patient care management, communication, and behavior change," said Dr. Kushner, Past President of The Obesity Society, Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, IL. Overall, more obesity education and training are needed among health care professionals.