Publication Date

1-1-1997

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Jayne Cohen

Abstract

The purpose of this research project was to study current practice behaviors of adult and family nurse practitioners when evaluating and managing obese patients. Forty-three nurse practitioners were surveyed by questionnaire. Study results indicated that nurses• assessment of obesity was limited in the areas of body mass index measurement and co-morbid condition assessment. In addition, the nurse practitioners studied did not discuss adjusting caloric intake to support patients' caloric needs. The discussion of caloric intake versus caloric needs in conjunction with portion control is important to ensure weight loss success. The knowledge gained from this research may increase nurse practitioners' awareness regarding the need to integrate assessment and management of obesity in their ongoing care of obese patients. Pender's Health Promotion Model guided this research. The Model emphasizes the importance of assessing the patient's readiness for adoption of a healthier lifestyle. Individuals who are 20% over their ideal weight are considered obese, a condition which complicates other health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Therefore, vigilant management is key to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with obesity.

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