Obesity is a major contributor of morbidity and all‐cause mortality, and is associated with decreased life expectancy. The long‐term risk of excessive weight gain increases during adulthood and currently more than 70% of the U.S. population is classified as overweight or obese. However, fewer than 50% of these patients report being counseled to lose weight by health care providers in an outpatient setting. We hypothesized that this might also be true in a hospital setting. An audit of the electronic medical records showed that 93% of hospitalists at our institution did not document obesity as a problem in the assessment and plan of their admission notes. We performed a behavioral and attitudinal survey on our hospitalists to determine why they did not address obesity.
An observational cohort study was conducted at our academic center. We collected information about attitudes and self‐reported behaviors by surveying 30 hospitalists. The survey had 1 question on whether the provider routinely documented the overweight status of patients, and 7 statements to rate their level of agreement about barriers to addressing obesity among hospitalized adults on a 5‐point Likert scale ranging from “totally disagree” to “totally agree.”
Inpatient obesity is inadequately addressed by hospitalists. The top 3 reasons cited by hospitalists for not addressing obesity in the hospital setting are: it is not an acute issue, lack of time, and lack of knowledge to adequately address it. The inpatient setting is optimal for addressing some of these public health issues because patients are a captive audience and a hospitalization is a teachable moment. Future research should aim to modify some of the perceived barriers of inpatient health care providers so that they can be engaged in fighting this rapidly growing epidemic.
C. Harris, none; E. Howe, none; S. Wright, none; R. Landis, none; F. Kisuule, none.
To cite this abstract:Harris C, Howe E, Wright S, Landis R, Kisuule F. Perceived Hospitalist Barriers to Addressing Obesity in In patients: A Provider Survey. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2010, April 8-11, Washington, D.C. Abstract 64. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2010; 5 (suppl 1). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/perceived-hospitalist-barriers-to-addressing-obesity-in-in-patients-a-provider-survey/. Accessed March 28, 2020.