Provider Attention to Weight of Pediatric Latino Patients

Provider Attention to Weight of Pediatric Latino Patients: An Opportunity for Communication to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes


Objective: Diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses among pediatric patients, and the number of youth living with this condition is expected to grow -- particularly among minority ethnic youth. Type 2 diabetes, historically a disease of older overweight adults, is now being diagnosed in children, along with a rise in childhood obesity. Unfortunately, primary care providers infrequently communicate the weight of pediatric patients. The purpose of this study was to assess communication of weight-related information between providers and Latino children and their parents during well-child office visits. Research Design and Methods: This study utilized chart reviews and structured interviews to assess the level at which weight-related information was communicated to Latino children and their parents during well-child office visits. Results: Results indicated that providers are inconsistent in their provision of weight information and are more likely to include weight-related chart documentation when children are younger and when they have a high body mass index (BMI). Parents intent to take corrective actions to improve their childs diet and exercise was more likely when the provider documented that weight information was provided in the childs chart. Conclusion: Findings from this study contributed to the development of a toolkit designed to improve primary care providers behavioral skills for implementation of clinical guidelines, including routine assessment of weight and patient-centered interventions in the treatment of obesity.

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