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Open Access Study protocol

Impact of an integrated obesity management system on patient’s care - research protocol

Jean-Patrice Baillargeon1, Denise St-Cyr-Tribble2, Marianne Xhignesse3, Andrew Grant4, Christine Brown1 and Marie-France Langlois1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

2 École des sciences infirmières, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

3 Department of Family and Emergency Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

4 Department of Biochemistry, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

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BMC Obesity 2014, 1:19  doi:10.1186/s40608-014-0019-z

Published: 3 September 2014

Abstract

Background

The majority of obese subjects are treated by primary care physicians (PCPs) who often feel uncomfortable with the management of obesity. In a previous study, we successfully developed, implemented and evaluated an obesity management system based on training and coaching of health professionals of family medicine groups (FMGs) by a team of experts in obesity management. Using a pre/post design, this study suggested a positive impact on health professionals’ perceptions and reported obesity care. The current research project is aimed at evaluating the impact on obesity screening and care of this integrated obesity management system. We hypothesize that our program combining preceptorships with a virtual community and on-site coaching will improve: (1) management and weight loss of obese/overweight subjects treated by PCPs for hypertension, type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance; and (2) screening and initial management of obesity among a regular follow-up group of patients of PCPs who practice in FMGs.

Methods/Design

Ten FMGs will be approached for a practice monitoring project and will be randomised to receive the intervention developed in our previous project or will only be provided clinical practice guidelines. In the participating FMGs, we will enrol 22 patients per FMG with weight related targeted disease and 24 patients with regular follow-up. These patients will be evaluated for the care they received regarding screening and/or management of obesity using medical chart reviews, and will fill out a questionnaire on their lifestyle and satisfaction. They will also be examined for anthropometric measures, vital signs, blood markers for chronic diseases and physical fitness. The same patients will be assessed again after 18 months. The impact of the program on health professionals will be evaluated at baseline, and at 1 year. Qualitative data will also be collected from both professional and patient participants. Direct and indirect costs and QALYs will be evaluated as indicators of cost-effectiveness.

Discussion

In the context of the dramatic increase in obesity prevalence and the low perception of PCPs’ self-efficacy, providing efficient strategies to PCPs and interdisciplinary health care teams for management of obesity is crucial.

Trial registration

Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00991640 webcite

Keywords:
Primary care; Obesity; Lifestyle; Medical education; Continuum of care