Objective: Despite the overwhelming prevalence and health implications of obesity, it is rarely addressed in a health care setting. Providers and patients alike cite innumerable barriers as to the reasons why. The current study provides a
framework to systematically address and deconstruct these barriers.
Methods: A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of the PATHWEIGH weight loss intervention in primary care. The intervention consisted of staff team training, workflow system management and data capture from the electronic medical record (EPIC). Two family medicine clinics in the same health care system were compared in their approach to weight management: PATHWEIGH method vs. Standard of Care (SOC); matched for provider expertise. Statistical analyses examined patient demographics, weight-related comorbidities, baseline weight and weight loss over 18 months.
Results: Patients in the PATHWEIGH group (N = 109) vs. SOC (N = 338) were younger (45 vs. 54 years old, p < 0.001), more likely to be female (89% vs. 65%, p < 0.01) and be commercially insured (93% vs. 52%, p < 0.001). The groups were comparable with respect to the numbers of weight-related comorbidities (p = 0.57). Baseline weight was not different between the groups (103.8 vs. 101.5 kg, p = 0.32), but weight lost was significantly greater in the PATHWEIGH group (7.9 kg / 7.2% body weight vs. 2.4 kg / 2.1% body weight SOC, p < 0.001 for both) despite a similar percentage of patients receiving bariatric surgery (10% for both groups, p = 0.99). Anti-obesity medication was more commonly prescribed in PATHWEIGH vs. SOC (79.8 vs. 20.7%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: These preliminary data demonstrate the feasibility and suggest superiority of using PATHWEIGH for weight loss in a primary care setting.
Citation: Perreault L, Hockett CW, Holmstrom H, Tolle L, Kramer ES, et al. 2020 PATHWEIGH Tool for Chronic Weight Management Built into EPIC Electronic Medical Record: Methods, Pilot Results and Future Directions. J Obes Chronic Dis 4(1): 42-48.