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Screening, Referral, and Participation in a Weight Management Program Implemented in Five CHCs


Community health centers have the potential to lessen obesity. We conducted a retrospective evaluation of a quality improvement program that included electronic body mass index (BMI) screening with provider referral to an in-clinic lifestyle behavior change counselor with weekly nutrition and exercise classes. There were 26,661 adult patients seen across five community health centers operating the weight management program. There were 23,593 (88%) adult patients screened, and 12,487 (53%) of these patients were overweight or obese (BMI ≥25). Forty percent received a provider referral, 15.6% had program contact, and 2.1% had more than 10 program contacts. A mean weight loss of seven pounds was observed among those patients with more than 10 program contacts. No significant weight change was observed in patients with less contact. Achieving public health impact from guideline recommended approaches to CHC-based weight management will require considerable improvement in patient and provider participation.

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