Objective: To identify factors that might influence physicians' referrals of obese adolescents to pediatric multidisciplinary weight management (PMWM) programs. Design/methods: Survey of a national sample of 375 pediatricians (PDs) and 375 family physicians (FPs) explored program availability, referral history, desired services, and when in the course of treatment physicians would refer. Differences were examined via χ2 tests. Results: Response rate was 67%. More PDs than FPs reported having a PMWM program available (46% vs 10%, P <.01). More PDs (PD 83% vs FP 53%, P <.01) and female physicians (88% vs 65%, P <.01) reported having made a referral. Most physicians wanted coordinated diet, activity, and behavioral therapy (79%). Almost all physicians indicated they would refer when unsure of what else to do, or if requested by the patient/parent. Conclusions: PMWM program referrals appear limited by availability. These data also suggest physicians may be reticent to refer. Further work should examine whether this affects patient outcomes.
- multidisciplinary care
- primary care physicians
- weight management programs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health