Childhood obesity: how do Australian general practitioners feel about managing this growing health problem?

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Title Childhood obesity: how do Australian general practitioners feel about managing this growing health problem?
Author McMeniman, Erin; Moore, Romayne Gaye; Yelland, Michael; McClure, Rod
Journal Name Australian Journal of Primary Health
Year Published 2011
Place of publication Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Abstract General practitioners (GPs) are ideally placed to identify and treat childhood obesity, but its prevalence continues to rise and evidence for effective GP interventions is lacking. Further analysis of the barriers to effective identification and management of childhood obesity is warranted. This survey aimed to explore how Queensland GPs feel about managing the growing problem of childhood obesity. A cross-sectional survey was sent to a random sample of 573 Queensland GPs about perceptions of diagnosis and management of childhood obesity. A total of 30% of GPs responded (n = 170). The main perceived obstacles to identification of childhood obesity were uncertainty about definition criteria and how to calculate body mass index, and lack of access to body mass index percentile charts. The main perceived obstacles in managing childhood obesity were lack of financial incentive, time constraints, lack of health system support and parental resistance. Only 22% of respondents indicated awareness of the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines for management of obese children and 92% had never used any formal clinical guidelines in assessment or management of childhood obesity. Addressing these barriers to identification of childhood obesity by GPs may facilitate more effective management. Strategies include greater emphasis on this issue in general practice training, financial incentives for diagnosis and management, incorporating clinical management guidelines into medical software, and increasing allied and community health support.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2011 CSIRO. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 17
Issue Number 1
Page from 60
Page to 65
ISSN 1448-7527
Date Accessioned 2011-06-03
Language en_US
Research Centre Centre for Musculoskeletal Research; Menzies Health Institute Qld
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Medical and Health Sciences
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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