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Acad Pediatr. 2016 May-Jun;16(4):394-400. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2016.01.016. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Are Graduating Pediatric Residents Prepared to Engage in Obesity Prevention and Treatment?

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Department of Research, American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, Ill. Electronic address:
Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight, American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, Ill.



Little information is available to gauge residents' perceived receipt of comprehensive training and preparedness to manage children with obesity in practice.


A national, random sample of 1000 graduating pediatric residents were surveyed in 2013 on childhood overweight/obesity and preparedness to prevent and treat obesity. A composite training measure was created by summing the number of areas (10 possible) where training on overweight/obesity was received. Multivariable logistic regression explored relationships of resident and training characteristics to residents' belief that their own counseling on prevention and treatment of overweight/obesity is very effective (vs somewhat/slightly/not effective).


Of 625 survey respondents (63% response), most (68-92%) reported receipt of training in each of 10 assessed areas on overweight/obesity prevention, assessment, and treatment. Most residents did not desire more training in the assessed areas; however, 54% wanted more training in motivational interviewing. About one-fourth believed that their own counseling on the prevention of overweight/obesity (26%) and treatment of obesity (22%) was very effective. Residents who rated their ability to use motivational interviewing as very good/excellent were more likely to rate their counseling on both the prevention and treatment of overweight/obesity as very effective (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.33, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.63-7.13; and aOR 4.69, 95% CI 2.72-8.07, respectively). Residents who received training in all 10 assessed areas were also more likely to rate their counseling on both prevention and treatment as very effective (aOR 2.58, 95% CI 1.61-4.14; aOR 2.41, 95% CI 1.46-3.97, respectively).


Comprehensive training on overweight/obesity and inclusion of training in motivational interviewing may help residents feel better prepared to care for children with overweight/obesity.


motivational interviewing; obesity; pediatric residents; training

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