A Toolbox Approach to Obesity Treatment in Primary Care
Obesity is common, causing many medical problems in adults (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, heart attack, strokes). A range of treatments have shown to be effective for treating obesity. Treatments include lifestyle modification, meal replacements, and weight loss medication. Most primary care settings do not provide much obesity treatment, though, as primary care providers (PCPs) are not well trained and because reimbursement for treatments is not consistent.
Hypothesis: If PCPs have training in weight management and if most costs of treatment are reimbursed, we surmise that a "toolbox" of treatments can produce a clinically important weight loss amount in a large group of patients.
Design: We propose to establish a registry of obese patients with at least one common medical condition related to their weight. From the registry, we will randomly select 350 people to be offered treatments to assist with weight loss. The remainder of the registry's patients can still receive obesity treatment but will not be reimbursed. We will conduct the study at Denver Health, a large public health care system that treats a low income, ethnically diverse population. All 350 patients will be offered some self-monitoring tools for weight management and the chance to do a computer assessment to select the right treatment for weight loss. Patients who complete this and record their food intake and physical activity for 1 week will be offered a "Level 2" treatment for weight loss. Level 2 treatments include: a voucher for a commercial weight loss program; intensive group weight loss counseling; meal replacements; gym membership; or weight loss medication. Patients will choose which treatment they want, with the approval of their PCP. Researchers at Denver Health will help with the computer assessment and dispensing the treatments. We are interested in what percentage of patients lose at least 5% of their starting weight. We will also explore changes in glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and we will look at how much this intervention costs and whether patients need less medication for their weight-related conditions at the end of the study.
Impact: If the study is successful, we plan to take the results to the leaders at Denver Health to see if they will make obesity treatment more broadly available for all patients there.
Behavioral: Commercial weight loss program
Behavioral: Colorado Weigh
Dietary Supplement: Meal replacements
Drug: Obesity pharmacotherapy
Behavioral: Recreation center passes
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||A Toolbox Approach to Obesity Treatment in Primary Care|
- Weight change [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Weight loss as a percentage of starting weight
- Health care utilization [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Changes in utilization of utilization of health care resources (prescription drugs, labs, outpatient visits, procedures, urgent care visits, ER visits and hospitalizations)
- Documentation of obesity [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Fraction of patients with an International Classification of Diseases (or ICD-9 code) for obesity; evidence that the PCP discussed weight loss with the patient; evidence of a specific intervention for weight management (e.g., Weight Watchers, medication).
- Cardiovascular risk factors [ Time Frame: 1 year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]Changes in blood pressure, glycemic control, and lipids
|Study Start Date:||January 2014|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||December 2016|
|Estimated Primary Completion Date:||June 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
350 randomly-selected patients at 4 clinics get a "toolbox" of weight loss options, including self-monitoring tools; education materials; recreation center passes; commercial weight loss program (Weight Watchers); intensive group counseling (Colorado Weigh); meal replacements; and obesity pharmacotherapy. The initial assessment, a computer program, takes diet and exercise history and helps patients choose personal treatment goals. Interested patients get a starter kit with self-monitoring tools and meal replacements. Subjects must show self-monitoring of diet and exercise to get more intensive therapies. Patients pay a $5-$10 co-pay for the therapies. They select a primary intensive therapy, but are able to add/change depending on results, adherence and budget availability.
Behavioral: Commercial weight loss program
vouchers for Weight WatchersBehavioral: Colorado Weigh
Group behavioral weight loss programDietary Supplement: Meal replacements
Health Management Resources meal replacement products (shakes and entrees)Drug: Obesity pharmacotherapy
Phentermine or phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)
Other Name: Phentermine or phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)Behavioral: Recreation center passes
1 year pass to a Denver recreation center
No Intervention: Control
Registry patients not selected to be offered the toolbox will receive usual care for weight management. Usual care for obesity at DH includes brief weight loss advice provided by PCPs or prescribing of weight loss medication, for which patients pay out of pocket.
Background: Obesity is prevalent and is a root cause of many common medical conditions affecting U.S. adults. A range of treatment options have demonstrated efficacy in producing weight loss and reducing health risks in randomized controlled trials. However, very little obesity treatment is currently delivered in most primary care settings. Inadequate reimbursement for treatment modalities and a lack of systematic training of primary care providers (PCPs) are two of the major barriers to more widespread treatment.
Hypothesis: If PCPs are given training and support for weight management, and if treatment options with proven efficacy are offered to obese adults with weight related co-morbidities with the majority of the treatment cost reimbursed, then clinically meaningful weight loss will be produced in a significant number of these individuals at a reasonable cost.
Design: This application proposes a 12 month intervention trial among obese adults cared for at 4 primary care clinics affiliated with Denver Health (DH), an integrated health care system serving an ethnically diverse medically underserved population. From among a large population of patients (~8,000) with obesity and at least one co-morbid condition, 350 individuals will be randomly selected to be offered a "toolbox" of treatment options. The remainder will be assigned to a control condition. The "toolbox" will include: 1) meal replacements; 2) group weight loss counseling; 3) membership at recreation centers; 4) pharmacotherapy with phentermine; and 5) other options. Patients in the intervention arm will undergo an initial evaluation using an "expert systems" computer program. They will then be required to self-monitor diet and physical activity before gaining access to the higher cost weight management services in the toolbox. Primary care providers will help patients choose treatment approaches, encourage adherence, and monitor success. Patient Navigators will assist patients in accessing prescribed treatments. The primary outcome will be the fraction of patients in each group who achieve a 5% weight loss after 12 months of intervention. Secondary outcomes will include uptake and utilization of treatment options, changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors, and other health care utilization, in particular outpatient medications for diabetes, hypertension, and lipids. While the treatment modalities to be used in this trial are not new, an intervention delivering a toolbox of weight management services in a safety net clinical setting and examining the effect on health care utilization is innovative. The submitted letters of support attest to the need for more data so that health care providers and payers can make evidence-based decisions regarding the provision of obesity treatment to large patient populations.
Impact: A positive result would encourage the broader adoption of a toolbox approach to weight management in primary care settings. A negative result would strongly suggest that even with a "best case scenario" of training and support for obesity treatment, the primary care clinic is not an effective route of delivery for weight management. Either result would be important in shaping future policy decisions about obesity treatment.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01922934
|United States, Colorado|
|Denver Health and Hospital Authority|
|Denver, Colorado, United States, 80204|
|Principal Investigator:||Daniel H Bessesen, MD||Chief of Endocrinology at Denver Health|