Passport to health: an innovative tool to enhance healthy lifestyle choices.
Sommaire de l'article
Obesity in children and adolescents has become an epidemic in the United States. The ramifications of obesity at a young age are longstanding and affect physical health, emotional health, and the economics of the health care industry. The Strong Pediatric Practice at Golisano Children’s Hospital is a large inner-city practice serving more than 14,000 urban children and adolescents, the majority living below the poverty level. The Obesity Task Force, which comprises four nurse practitioners, two nurses, a nutritionist, and one physician, developed and implemented the « Passport to Health » tool in an attempt to encourage providers to assess and work with families around the issues of weight and activity, a need that was identified through chart audits. The Passport to Health supports the policy statements on prevention of overweight and obesity by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and American Academy of Pediatrics. Quality assurance standards for managed care that mandate body mass index (BMI) assessment and nutrition counseling in all children and adolescents also is supported by this tool. The Passport to Health also provides the same message as a current community initiative in the Rochester area that has received widespread media coverage. This tool includes a visual color-coded indicator of the child’s BMI status and a synopsis of specific healthy eating and activity goals, and it permits an individualized goal to be established. The Passport to Health translates information that the provider knows about the BMI status into information that the family and child can embrace and understand. Chart audits as well as exit interviews have demonstrated that use of the Passport to Health has increased the assessment, identification, and counseling by providers in relation to healthy eating and activity. Chart audits found that nurse practitioners embraced this practice change more readily than did other providers. We also found that the use of the Passport to Health has increased the involvement of the child and adolescent in discussions about weight and activity status. Recommendations to encourage future practice changes have been established and will be implemented. The changes include intensive education with providers who were less likely to utilize the Passport to Health tool. The Passport to Health could be implemented easily in any pediatric practice setting.