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Daily Dose: Weight Management in Primary Care

Article

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.


On May 25, 2023, we reported on a study published in Annals of Family Medicine that analyzed the baseline characteristics of patients, clinicians, and clinics for 57 primary care sites in which PATHWEIGH – a weight management tool that study authors developed to remove clinician barriers in providing patient care that addressed weight – will be deployed in the future.

The study

Researchers enrolled 57 primary care clinics in a large regional health system in Colorado where the PATHWEIGH tool had already been implemented. The clinics were randomized to 3 sequences. Patients included in the analysis were aged ≥18 years, had a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2, and had a weight-prioritized visit between March 17, 2020, and March 16, 2021.

The findings

During the study period, a total of 164 904 participants had a visit at 1 of the 57 primary care clinics. Of these, 20 383 (12%) had a weight-prioritized visit. Overall, patients who had a weight-prioritized visit had a mean age of 52 years and a mean BMI of 37 kg/m2; 58% were women, 76% were non-Hispanic White, and 64% were commercially insured.

Researchers found that documented referral for any weight-related service (eg, dietician, bariatrics, endocrinology) was low (<6%), and 334 unique prescriptions of an antiobesity medication were noted across all 3 sequences.

Note from authors

"These results unmask an enormous unmet need to develop pragmatic approaches to implementing weight management in primary care."

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