Date of Completion

Spring 5-11-2022

Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Eileen Stuart-Shor, PhD, ANP-BC, FAHA, FAAN

Site Advisor

Evelyn Addo-Wallace, WHNP-BC, MPH


Description of the problem: Obesity is a growing healthcare problem worldwide with extraordinary costs to the individual's health and the healthcare system. Individuals most affected by obesity include socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals, often with limited resources to seek specialized care.

Available knowledge: Various weight-loss interventions exist but access and success rates vary. Weight loss is often modest and additional factors such as social determinants of health, health literacy, and patient motivation are all factors important to the success of an intervention.

Specific Aims: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to improve self-regulatory weight loss behaviors and increase weight loss among socioeconomically disadvantaged obese patients receiving care in an FQHC.

Intervention: All patients attending non-urgent primary care visits were screened for a BMI of ≥ 30 for participation. Patients received screening for depression and for social determinants of health. Providers delivered a brief counseling intervention. Texting was used to encourage accountability and completion of weekly weight monitoring. Results: Eighty-six percent of patients seen for nonurgent visits during the pilot were screened for participation and 70% participated. Of the patients that enrolled, 42% completed the program, and 67% of completers lost weight.

Conclusions: Brief counseling is an effective platform to deliver weight loss education in primary care. Attrition in obesity treatment programs is high, but notably, in this project, 42% of these difficult-to-reach patients completed the program. While most completers did not meet the weight loss goal of a 5% reduction in body weight, 67% lost at least some weight.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //