Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Kathy Wheeler

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Stephanie Rose

Committee Member

Dr. Sharon Lock

Abstract

Obesity is an epidemic among adults in the United States, leading to a multitude of co-morbidities and billions of dollars in annual healthcare expenditures. Although primary care is the ideal setting for identification and treatment of overweight/obesity, it is often overlooked by providers. This capstone project was formed by three manuscripts, which were written to explore the lack of overweight/obesity identification and treatment in the primary care setting. Emphasis was made throughout the three manuscripts on the importance of providers using body mass index (BMI) as an objective means to discuss overweight/obesity with patients. The first manuscript is an integrative review of literature related to the use of BMI as a tool to diagnose obesity in primary care. The second manuscript is an analysis of the 2013 guideline published by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and The Obesity Society related to overweight/obesity among adults. The third manuscript outlines a quality improvement study that was conducted at a family practice clinic to improve provider documentation of overweight/obesity diagnosis and treatment through use of a sticky note prompt alerting providers to patient BMI. Findings from this study yielded statistically significant improvements in provider documentation of overweight/obesity diagnosis and treatment to reveal that solutions are available to address this problem in healthcare.

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