Integrating childhood obesity resources into the patient-centered medical home: Provider perspectives in the United States

J Child Health Care. 2019 Mar;23(1):63-78. doi: 10.1177/1367493518777308. Epub 2018 May 23.


Pediatric primary care providers play a critical role in managing obesity yet often lack the resources and support systems to provide effective care to children with obesity. The objective of this study was to identify system-level barriers to managing obesity and resources desired to better managing obesity from the perspective of pediatric primary care providers. A 64-item survey was electronically administered to 159 primary care providers from 26 practices within a large pediatric primary care network. Bivariate analyses were performed to compare survey responses based on provider and practice characteristics. Also factor analysis was conducted to determine key constructs that effect pediatric interventions for obesity. Survey response rate was 69% ( n = 109), with the majority of respondents being female (77%), physicians (67%), and without prior training in obesity management (74%). Time constraints during well visits (86%) and lack of ancillary staff (82%) were the most frequently reported barriers to obesity management. Information on community resources (99%), an on-site dietitian (96%), and patient educational materials (94%) were most frequently identified as potentially helpful for management of obesity in the primary care setting. Providers who desired more ancillary staff were significantly more likely to practice in clinics with a higher percentage of obese, Medicaid, and Hispanic patients. Integrating ancillary lifestyle expert support into primary care practices and connecting primary care practices to community organizations may be a successful strategy for assisting primary care providers with managing childhood obesity, especially among vulnerable populations.

Keywords: Medical home; obesity resources; pediatric obesity; primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Resources*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / trends
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Pediatric Obesity / therapy*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • United States