Are Graduating Pediatric Residents Prepared to Engage in Obesity Prevention and Treatment?

Acad Pediatr. May-Jun 2016;16(4):394-400. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2016.01.016. Epub 2016 Jan 27.


Background: Little information is available to gauge residents' perceived receipt of comprehensive training and preparedness to manage children with obesity in practice.

Methods: A national, random sample of 1000 graduating pediatric residents were surveyed in 2013 on childhood overweight/obesity and preparedness to prevent and treat obesity. A composite training measure was created by summing the number of areas (10 possible) where training on overweight/obesity was received. Multivariable logistic regression explored relationships of resident and training characteristics to residents' belief that their own counseling on prevention and treatment of overweight/obesity is very effective (vs somewhat/slightly/not effective).

Results: Of 625 survey respondents (63% response), most (68-92%) reported receipt of training in each of 10 assessed areas on overweight/obesity prevention, assessment, and treatment. Most residents did not desire more training in the assessed areas; however, 54% wanted more training in motivational interviewing. About one-fourth believed that their own counseling on the prevention of overweight/obesity (26%) and treatment of obesity (22%) was very effective. Residents who rated their ability to use motivational interviewing as very good/excellent were more likely to rate their counseling on both the prevention and treatment of overweight/obesity as very effective (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.63-7.13; and aOR 4.69, 95% CI 2.72-8.07, respectively). Residents who received training in all 10 assessed areas were also more likely to rate their counseling on both prevention and treatment as very effective (aOR 2.58, 95% CI 1.61-4.14; aOR 2.41, 95% CI 1.46-3.97, respectively).

Conclusions: Comprehensive training on overweight/obesity and inclusion of training in motivational interviewing may help residents feel better prepared to care for children with overweight/obesity.

Keywords: motivational interviewing; obesity; pediatric residents; training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Pediatric Obesity / therapy
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires