Preventing and treating obesity: pediatricians' self-efficacy, barriers, resources, and advocacy.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: With respect to obesity prevention and treatment, to determine pediatricians' 1) treatment self-efficacy; 2) perceived barriers and relationships to management self-efficacy; 3) desired resources; and 4) willingness to be involved in advocacy. METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional, self-administered mail survey queried members of the North Carolina Pediatrics Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics who were practicing routine care. RESULTS: The adjusted response rate was 71% (n = 356). Only 12% of respondents reported high self-efficacy in obesity management, yet 39% believed that physicians could potentially be effective. The most frequently encountered barriers to obesity management included availability of fast food (97%) and soft drinks (95%). However, some practice-based barriers were most strongly associated with self-efficacy. Odds of high self-efficacy were lower for respondents who reported lack of non-MD staff reimbursement (odds ratio [OR] = 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.58, 0.92), lack of on-site dietitian (OR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.50, 0.83), or lack of patient educational materials (OR = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.50, 0.89), compared with those who reported encountering these barriers infrequently. Respondents chose better counseling tools (96%) as the most helpful clinical resource for obesity management. Most (89%) were willing to take at least a small role in advocacy efforts. CONCLUSIONS: Most pediatricians reported feeling ineffective in their ability to treat obesity. Some practice-based barriers were specifically associated with low self-efficacy. However, pediatricians welcomed multiple clinical resources for obesity management and expressed willingness to advocate for policy change. Practice-based tool kits and efforts to engage willing participants in advocacy may help pediatricians combat this epidemic.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Perrin, EM; Flower, KB; Garrett, J; Ammerman, AS

Published Date

  • May 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 150 - 156

PubMed ID

  • 15913408

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15913408

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1530-1567

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1367/A04-104R.1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States