Teen, Parent, and Clinician Expectations About Obesity and Related Conditions During the Annual Well-Child Visit

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J Patient Cent Res Rev


Purpose: To examine family (patient and parent/guardian) and clinician preferences for identification and management of obesity and obesity-related conditions during the well-child visit.

Methods: Four focus groups with teen patients (n=16), four focus groups with parents (n=15), and one focus group with providers (n=12) were conducted using a structured moderator guide tailored to each specific population. Eligible patients had a well-child visit during the past 12 months and a diagnosis of overweight, obesity, hyperlipidemia, or elevated blood pressure. Parents who attended their child's well-child visit and had a child meeting these same criteria were eligible. Teen focus groups were divided by gender (male/female) and age (14-15y/16-17y). Focus group transcripts were coded for concepts and themes using qualitative data and thematic analysis. Analysis was performed across groups to determine common themes and domains of intersect.

Results: Teens and parents expect weight to be discussed at well-child visits, and prefer discussions to come from a trusted clinician who uses serious, consistent language. Teens did not recognize the health implications from excess weight, and both parents and teens express the need for more information on strategies to change behavior. Providers recognize several challenges and barriers to discussing weight management in the well-child visit.

Conclusion: A clinician-teen-family relationship built on trust, longevity, teamwork, support, and encouragement can create a positive atmosphere and may improve understanding for weight-related messages for teens and families during a well-child visit.

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