Building Capacity to Deliver Effective Obesity Management Interventions within Primary Care Settings
The translation of research discovery to clinical and community practice is both a complex challenge and an absolute necessity if health providers are to effectively disseminate evidence-based health behavior change interventions. Building provider capacity to deliver effective obesity management interventions for youth in pragmatic healthcare settings is especially needed given the widespread prevalence and negative health outcomes associated. However, most health care providers are not adequately trained to address youth obesity management, and a major contributing factor is the inaccessibility of training resources, a particularly acute problem in rural areas. Mindful Eating (ME) programs represents one novel training approach as they specifically target two significant predictors of youth obesity including psychological distress and disordered eating behaviors. Recent research findings point to the efficacy of mindfulness-based approaches for weight loss in adults and an untapped opportunity to utilize ME interventions for youth populations. Researchers at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center have recently developed a healthcare provider training for a brief youth-based ME intervention for use within a clinic setting that could be conducted via telehealth.
Thus, the overall goal of this pilot project is to initiate a collaborative research effort between five diverse CTSA hubs to examine how teleconferencing technology can expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of youth obesity health care services, especially those which may also serve the broader community and rural areas. Specifically, we will examine the degree to which a promising treatment model for obesity (mindful eating) can be effectively standardized and taught via video teleconferencing to health providers, increasing access to training resources and establishing a foundation for future studies examining patient outcomes.
Design considerations are based on optimal positioning for future larger multisite studies examining the feasibility of tailoring ME programs for clinical healthcare settings.