Current Content
Volume 47 - Number 3
May/June 2021

Adoption of Clinical Guidelines to Improve Childhood Obesity Screening

Ivy Akua Fenin, Casey L. Norris, Elizabeth Barnby, and Mary B. Hammock

Background: Childhood obesity is a deadly disorder that negatively impacts the health of youth in the United States. Approximately 17% of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years are obese, while almost 32% are overweight. The cost of associated medical complications is approximately $14 billion and is expected to increase. The etiology is both behavioral and genetic. This project sought to determine if aligning a pediatric primary care clinic's screening process with the United States Preventive Services Task Force's (USPSTF) recommended clinical childhood obesity prevention guidelines would increase screening rates and maximize the detection of overweight/obese children to ensure proper follow up in 8 weeks.

Methods: Pre-intervention chart reviews were conducted on randomly selected patients (N = 60) ages 6 to 16 years in a pediatric primary care clinic located in a suburban area of Atlanta, Georgia, from December 2018 to January 2019 to determine screening processes for this age group. An educational intervention was conducted on the USPSTF recommended standards and results of the initial chart review. A post-intervention chart review was conducted on patients seen between April 2019 through May 2019 to determine if the intervention led to a change in practice.

Results: The pre-intervention rate of screening was 22/60 (36.7%). The post-intervention rate was 55/60 (91.7%). This indicates a statistically significant increase in the rate of screening from pre-intervention to post-intervention, Χ²(1) = 39.47, p < 0.0001, OR = 19.0, 95% CI 6.61 to 54.59.

Conclusion: Education on USPSTF recommendations for obesity screening improved rates of screening pediatric patients in a pediatric primary care clinic.