Systems approach to childhood and adolescent obesity prevention and treatment in a managed care organization

Pronk, N P; Boucher, J
March 1999
International Journal of Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders;Mar1999 Supplement, Vol. 23, ps38
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To outline an intervention approach to childhood and adolescent obesity prevention and treatment, that will systematically facilitate effective communication, provide long-term social support and access to resources, that may be accessed proactively or on demand. Furthermore, this approach operates in an environment that involves all critical parties: child/adolescent, family-unit, physician and allied health professionals. SYSTEMS THINKING APPROACH: The objective is to bring together all key stakeholders and consider the interrelationships among them as a common process. In a managed care setting, this may be accomplished by optimizing the contributions of care delivery, health promotion and information systems. SETTING: A not-for-profit, community governed Managed Care Organization (MCO) in the Midwestern United States. Telephone-based, centralized services facilitate a process of access, communication, documentation and intervention implementation. CASE STUDIES: Two case studies are presented as examples of how access is obtained, the intervention is tailored to individual needs, communication is established, documentation is organized and long-term support is facilitated. CONCLUSIONS: A systems thinking approach to obesity prevention and treatment in youth has great potential. In a MCO setting, such an approach may be implemented, since integrated health care delivery systems may allow a common process to be established that can bring together all key stakeholders.


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