The purpose of this investigation was to understand perspectives of physicians, nurses, and staff regarding the feasibility of implementing an evidence-based weight management program to support primary care practice. An exploratory aim was to examine differences in responses based on the clinic location. Ten focus groups were conducted with primary care staff from rural, micropolitan, and metropolitan clinics. The Promoting Action on Research in Health Services (PARIHS) framework was used to inform the interview guide. Transcripts were reviewed to identify common themes among PARIHS constructs (evidence, context, and facilitation). Presence of comorbidities (e.g., diabetes, hypertension) were typical prompts for provider-led discussions about patient weight. Metropolitan clinics reported the availability of health coaching, diabetes education, or dietician consultation, but no clinic reported offering a comprehensive weight management program. Participants agreed it is possible to implement a weight management program through primary care, but cited potential facilitation challenges such as costs, clinic resources, and individual patient barriers. More enthusiasm arose for a referral program with patient tracking. Program characteristics such as proven efficacy, individual tailoring, program accessibility, and patient feedback to the providers were desired. Rural focus group participants reported unique barriers (lack of local resources) and facilitators (more flexibility in practice changes) to weight management when compared to metropolitan and micropolitan focus groups. Primary care staff are interested in weight management solutions for their patients and would prefer an evidence-based program to which they could refer patients, receive feedback on patient progress, and sustainably include as part of their regular services.
- Primary care
- Weight management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health