The obesity epidemic has resulted in an increasing number of children needing multidisciplinary obesity treatment. To meet this need, pediatric obesity programs have arisen, particularly in children's hospitals. In 2008, the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) convened FOCUS on a Fitter Future, a group drawn from NACHRI member institutions, to investigate the needs, barriers, and capacity-building in these programs.
Senior administrators of the 47 NACHRI member hospitals that completed an application to participate in the FOCUS group were invited to complete a Web-based survey. The survey targeted 4 key areas: (1) perceived value of the obesity program; (2) funding mechanisms; (3) administrative challenges; and (4) sustainability of the programs.
Nearly three-quarters of the respondents reported that their obesity programs were integrated into their hospitals' strategic plans. Obesity programs added value to their institutions because the programs met the needs of patients and families (97%), met the needs of health care providers (91%), prevented future health problems in children (85%), and increased visibility in the community (79%). Lack of reimbursement (82%) and high operating costs (71%) were the most frequently cited challenges. Respondents most frequently identified demonstration of program effectiveness (79%) as a factor that is necessary for ensuring program sustainability.
Hospital administrators view tackling childhood obesity as integral to their mission to care for children. Our results serve to inform hospital clinicians and administrators as they develop and implement sustainable pediatric obesity programs.
"Pediatric obesity is a serious health condition, conferring both immediate and long-term health risks [1–3]. Multidisciplinary approaches in diverse sectors, including pediatric primary care, have been proposed to reduce the high prevalence of childhood obesity . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To examine body mass index (BMI) changes among pediatric multidisciplinary weight management participants and nonparticipants. Design. In this retrospective database analysis, we used multivariable mixed effect models to compare 2-year BMI z-score trajectories among 583 eligible overweight or obese children referred to the One Step Ahead program at the Boston Children's Primary Care Center between 2003 and 2009. Results. Of the referred children, 338 (58%) attended the program; 245 (42%) did not participate and were instead followed by their primary care providers within the group practice. The mean BMI z-score of program participants decreased modestly over a 2-year period and was lower than that of nonparticipants. The group-level difference in the rate of change in BMI z-score between participants and nonparticipants was statistically significant for 0-6 months (P = 0.001) and 19-24 months (P = 0.008); it was marginally significant for 13-18 months (P = 0.051) after referral. Younger participants (<5 years) had better outcomes across all time periods examined. Conclusion. Children attending a multidisciplinary program experienced greater BMI z-score reductions compared with usual primary care in a real world practice; younger participants had significantly better outcomes. Future research should consider early intervention and cost-effectiveness analyses.
International Journal of Pediatrics 01/2014; 2014:152586. DOI:10.1155/2014/152586
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