Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The rate of obesity in American adults has increased dramatically over the last decade. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and demands attention to reverse the current trend. This project was developed to evaluate a quality improvement initiative implemented in 2016 to address the problem of obesity in a rural southeastern primary care clinic setting where underserved populations are treated. The quality improvement (QI) initiative was developed using the plan-do-act-check model and the evaluation of the initiative was the focus of the current project. The project question asked if a quality improvement initiative for weight loss monitoring and counseling could improve health outcomes for a rural clinic setting. The project examined the impact of the initiative's outcomes of weight and body mass index (BMI) and lipid profiles. Deidentified data from 10 patients who were treated in the clinic during a 3-month time period before the QI initiative was implemented and 10 patient records during the 3 months after the QI initiative was in place for 3 months were obtained from the clinical site and were entered into SPSS for analysis. Results of an analysis of variance demonstrated that after the QI initiative was in place, BMI improved (p < .001) in the 3- month post intervention period compared to the pre-intervention levels. Similarly, total cholesterol levels (p <.001) were decreased post intervention. LDL cholesterol did not show a significant difference at the 3-month post-intervention stage although HDL cholesterol improved. Results demonstrate that a QI initiative that addresses weight loss in a rural clinical setting can improve health outcomes and promote positive social change in a rural underserved community.