Bmj Usa

Obesity trial: knowledge without systems

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7438.E272 (Published 26 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:E272
  1. Maribel Cifuentes, deputy director,
  2. Larry A Green, director (lgreen@aafp.org)
  1. Prescription for Health: Promoting Healthy Behaviors in Primary Care Research Networks (A Robert Wood Johnson National Program) Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO

    Not enough, again

    In this issue of BMJ USA, Moore et al (p 35) report a practice-based randomized trial that assessed a 4.5 hour training program delivered by dietitians to general practitioners and practice staff to improve their knowledge and management of obesity in adults. The primary outcome was patients' weight change at 12 months, and secondary outcomes included practitioners' knowledge and process measures. While knowledge improved and intervention practices appear to have “tried harder,” there was no weight loss in patients. The authors reported that the intervention strategy was only partially implemented in study practices. Combining this partial implementation with the known limited effects of increased knowledge alone on changing practice, the study's findings are exactly the results one would expect.

    This intervention focused on clinician knowledge rather than how frontline practice happens. It further supports the view that interventions loaded into primary care practices without consideration of competing demands1 and practice redesign will likely continue to fail until a new model of primary care practice emerges.

    As in …

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