Nurse practitioner attitudes and treatment practices for childhood overweight: How do rural and urban practitioners differ?

Karen Hessler, Mary Siegrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Pediatric overweight and obesity has become an epidemic problem of our nation. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are exposed to overweight pediatric patients on a regular basis. The purpose of this study was to investigate NP attitudes toward pediatric overweight and obesity and explore their current diagnosis and treatment practices. Differences between rural and urban NPs were also investigated. Data sources: Survey data were gathered from 1088 family and pediatric NPs from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners member list randomly. Only family and pediatric NPs were included in the sample. Conclusions: NPs in the sample believed that pediatric overweight and obesity are problems in need of treatment, but also reported not assessing and diagnosing the condition per current guidelines. Initiation of treatment was reported at very low rates. Rural NPs reported having fewer referral resources than urban NPs. Implications for practice: NPs are in an ideal position to properly assess, diagnose, and treat pediatric overweight and obesity. The findings suggest that more education on these topics is necessary for NPs. Rural NPs reported fewer referral services, and may need to have more knowledge about how to provide obesity treatment services in their own practice settings due to this disparity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Fingerprint

Nurse Practitioners
Pediatric Obesity
Family Nurse Practitioners
Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Therapeutics
Referral and Consultation
Information Storage and Retrieval
Obesity
Guidelines
Pediatrics
Education

Keywords

  • Nurse practitioners
  • Obesity
  • Pediatric
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Purpose: Pediatric overweight and obesity has become an epidemic problem of our nation. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are exposed to overweight pediatric patients on a regular basis. The purpose of this study was to investigate NP attitudes toward pediatric overweight and obesity and explore their current diagnosis and treatment practices. Differences between rural and urban NPs were also investigated. Data sources: Survey data were gathered from 1088 family and pediatric NPs from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners member list randomly. Only family and pediatric NPs were included in the sample. Conclusions: NPs in the sample believed that pediatric overweight and obesity are problems in need of treatment, but also reported not assessing and diagnosing the condition per current guidelines. Initiation of treatment was reported at very low rates. Rural NPs reported having fewer referral resources than urban NPs. Implications for practice: NPs are in an ideal position to properly assess, diagnose, and treat pediatric overweight and obesity. The findings suggest that more education on these topics is necessary for NPs. Rural NPs reported fewer referral services, and may need to have more knowledge about how to provide obesity treatment services in their own practice settings due to this disparity.",
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