This study aimed to identify the practices reported by health professionals across health settings, professional disciplines, and geographical regions, in addressing obesity assessment and treatment in children and adolescents in the Republic of Ireland. Secondary aims included assessing the views of participants about managing paediatric obesity in general and the level of relevant training among personnel. 

A total of 184 HPs completed the survey including nurses (18%), physicians (14%), health and social care professionals (60%), and other HPs (8%). The majority were female (91%), among which 54% reported conducting growth monitoring with a third (32.6%) giving a diagnosis of paediatric/adolescent obesity as part of their clinical practice. Nearly half (49%) of the HPs reported having the resources needed for clinical assessment. However, 31.5% of the HPs reported having enough “time,” and almost 10% of the HPs reported having no/limited access to suitable anthropometric measurement tools. Most HPs did not conduct obesity-related clinical assessments beyond growth assessment, and 61% reported having no paediatric obesity training. CFIR mapping identified several facilitators and barriers including time for clinical encounters, suitable materials and equipment, adequate training, perceived professional competency and self-efficacy, human equality and child-centredness, relative priorities, local attitudes, referral protocols, and long waiting times.

The findings provide actionable information to guide the implementation of the Model of Care for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Ireland. Survey findings will now inform a qualitative study to explore implementation barriers and facilitators and prioritise actions to improve child and adolescent obesity management.

‘Addressing child and adolescent obesity management in Ireland: identifying facilitators and barriers in clinical practice‘ is published as an open access article in Frontiers in Pediatrics.

Citation: Ferdous F, Arthurs N, Tully L, O’Brien S, Smith SM, Walsh A, O’Gorman CS, O’Malley G and the LANDSCAPE steering committee (2023) Addressing child and adolescent obesity management in Ireland: identifying facilitators and barriers in clinical practice. Front. Pediatr. 11:1222604. doi: 10.3389/fped.2023.1222604