Background: Obesity is a pressing public health concern, which frequently presents in primary care. With the explosive obesity epidemic, there is an urgent need to maximize effective management in primary care. The 5As of Obesity Management™ (5As) are a collection of knowledge tools developed by the Canadian Obesity Network. Low rates of obesity management visits in primary care suggest provider behaviour may be an important variable. The goal of the present study is to increase frequency and quality of obesity management in primary care using the 5As Team (5AsT) intervention to change provider behaviour.
Methods/design: The 5AsT trial is a theoretically informed, pragmatic randomized controlled trial with mixed methods evaluation. Clinic-based multidisciplinary teams (RN/NP, mental health, dietitians) will be randomized to control or the 5AsT intervention group, to participate in biweekly learning collaborative sessions supported by internal and external practice facilitation. The learning collaborative content addresses provider-identified barriers to effective obesity management in primary care. Evidence-based shared decision making tools will be co-developed and iteratively tested by practitioners. Evaluation will be informed by the RE-AIM framework. The primary outcome measure, to which participants are blinded, is number of weight management visits/full-time equivalent (FTE) position. Patient-level outcomes will also be assessed, through a longitudinal cohort study of patients from randomized practices. Patient outcomes include clinical (e.g., body mass index [BMI], blood pressure), health-related quality of life (SF-12, EQ5D), and satisfaction with care. Qualitative data collected from providers and patients will be evaluated using thematic analysis to understand the context, implementation and effectiveness of the 5AsT program.
Discussion: The 5AsT trial will provide a wide range of insights into current practices, knowledge gaps and barriers that limit obesity management in primary practice. The use of existing resources, collaborative design, practice facilitation, and integrated feedback loops cultivate an applicable, adaptable and sustainable approach to increasing the quantity and quality of weight management visits in primary care.
Trial registration: NCT01967797.