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Childhood Obesity: Variations in Management

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00160914
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 12, 2005
Last Update Posted : April 7, 2016
The Nathan Cummings Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Chicago

Brief Summary:

Childhood obesity has been described as a growing national epidemic. Between 1980 and 1994 the prevalence of childhood obesity doubled with 10% to 15% of children and adolescents being obese. Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term detrimental consequences for health and well-being. Obese children are at increased risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. Obese children are more likely to be at risk for psychological stress and disturbed body image. Moreover, obese children are more likely to become obese adults, especially if weight reduction has not occurred by the end of adolescence.

The pediatrician is in an ideal position to assess and manage childhood obesity. Recently, guidelines have been established for the assessment and treatment of childhood obesity. These "best practice" guidelines include recommended diagnostic criteria, assessment of contributing factors such as diet and lifestyle, family history, and treatment choices. Although these guidelines have been introduced little is known about pediatricians' actual practice patterns and their beliefs concerning childhood obesity.

Project Description I plan to conduct a national survey of pediatricians to assess common strategies for the identification and management of childhood obesity, along with pediatricians' attitudes and beliefs about childhood obesity. In consultation with a panel of practicing general pediatricians and survey research experts, I plan to develop a survey that measures pediatricians' beliefs about the causes and consequences of childhood obesity, its prevalence in their practice settings, their approaches to diagnosis and management, and resources available for treatment. The survey will be administered to a randomly selected national sample of approximately 600 practicing general pediatricians. The response rate is expected to be approximately 60% or 360 pediatricians. The survey results will help to assess the degree to which recommended practice guidelines are being implemented, identify pediatricians' beliefs and attitudes that might serve as barriers to optimal care, and suggest areas for continuing medical education. The proposed time frame for the study is two years.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Obesity Behavioral: Identification/management of childhood obesity (behavior)

Detailed Description:

Project Goals

Year One

  • Develop and Pilot Test Survey. The Pediatrician Survey will be designed to assess both practice patterns and attitudes/beliefs pertaining to childhood and adolescent obesity. From a review of the literature and the recently published guidelines, along with interviews with practicing pediatricians, we will generate items that assess relevant diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to childhood obesity, including patient and physician demographic data. We will also thoroughly review the literature to identify attitudes and beliefs that may impact pediatricians approaches to obesity management. The survey will be pilot tested with a small sample of practicing pediatricians, and appropriate modifications in the survey will be made.
  • Select Sample. We will use the American Academy of Pediatrics Fellowship Directory to identify a national pool of practicing pediatricians. To allow us to assess any regional differences in practice patterns, we will stratify the pool of practicing pediatricians by geographic region and randomly select 150 pediatricians from within each of four geographic regions. This will allow us to survey a total of 600 practicing pediatricians.
  • Mail Surveys. Using addresses provided by the Directory, we will send surveys via mail to selected pediatricians. All mailings will be coded and entered into a computerized master list that will facilitate tracking of surveys received and follow-up. Surveys sent and received will be tracked. Based on prior research experience, we expect an initial response rate of approximately 50%. One month after the initial mailing, we will conduct a second mailing to non--responders, sending a reminder postcard requesting the completion and return of the survey. Two months after the initial mailing, a second letter and survey will be sent to those who still have not responded. With this method, we expect a final response rate of 60%

Year Two

• Data Entry and Analysis. Data from returned surveys, including respondent demographic characteristics, practice structure and setting, practice patterns, and attitudes/beliefs will be entered into a database for subsequent analysis. Data will be double-entered and checked for accuracy. Data analysis will consist of establishing psychometric properties of attitude and belief measures, examining frequencies of responses to, individual items, looking for trends across geographic regions, and assessing common approaches to the diagnosis and management of childhood obesity. Moreover, we will analyze the data to determine the relationship of attitudes/beliefs and practice patterns. We anticipate that we will identify a number of important variations in the diagnosis and management of childhood obesity. We also expect to identify a number of personal and systems-related barriers to treatment of childhood obesity. For example, we expect that pediatricians with more recent training will have more optimistic attitudes toward successful management of childhood obesity. We also expect to find variations in reimbursement and clinic resources, and that these will impact pediatricians' approaches.

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Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 500 participants
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Childhood Obesity: Variations in Management
Study Start Date : December 2001
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2010

Intervention Details:
  • Behavioral: Identification/management of childhood obesity (behavior)
    In this project, we plan to conduct a national survey of pediatricians to assess common strategies for identification and management of childhood obesity, along with pediatricians' attitudes and beliefs about childhood obesity.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Practicing general pediatricians

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Practicing general pediatricians

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Non practicing general pediatricians

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00160914

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United States, Illinois
The University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60637
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Chicago
The Nathan Cummings Foundation
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Principal Investigator: Janis Mendelsohn, M.D. University of Chicago
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Responsible Party: University of Chicago Identifier: NCT00160914    
Other Study ID Numbers: 11408B
First Posted: September 12, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 7, 2016
Last Verified: April 2016
Keywords provided by University of Chicago:
Childhood obesity
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Pediatric Obesity
Nutrition Disorders
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms