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Keywords

Obesity, obesity management, overweight, nurse practitioner students, patient education, nursing faculty

 

Authors

  1. Fruh, Sharon M. PhD, FNP, RN (Professor and Associate Dean)

ABSTRACT

Background: The National Center for Health Statistics reported that obesity is at epidemic levels in the United States, with an estimated 70.7% of adults affected by overweight and obesity. The disease state of obesity affects all generations and is pervasive among all socioeconomic groups.

 

Purpose: This study was designed to examine the impact of implementing educational modules to determine if the intervention improved knowledge and comfort levels for Nurse Practitioner students when managing patients with obesity.

 

Methods: Nurse Practitioner students completed a survey regarding knowledge and comfort level in managing patients with obesity. Students then completed modules designed to train health care providers on the management of obesity. A postmodule assessment was administered to determine if the obesity management modules improved competency and perceived skills when treating patients with overweight and obesity.

 

Results: Participants' mean score on the knowledge test represented a significant improvement following training. Their comfort level in managing patients with obesity increased.

 

Implications for practice: Implementing these modules in graduate education may be a helpful avenue to improve competency in obesity management. Acknowledging that obesity is a disease and requires a multifaceted approach when helping patients improve their health. This change in perception may lead to better goal-setting with the patient, empathetic understanding, and broader patient involvement in the treatment.