Application of an Interprofessional Team in Pediatric Nutritional Wellness
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Purpose: Childhood obesity poses a significant health risk to children in the United States and has been increasing in recent years. Childhood obesity is associated with increased risk of hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and hypertension manifesting later in life. Early intervention is crucial in preventing these health problems. Therefore, it is important that parents receive early education on nutritional wellness as well as the most accurate information possible. A team-based application of health care delivery is one possible way of achieving this patient education. This study aims to evaluate patient satisfaction with the use of an interprofessional healthcare team in delivering nutritional wellness information to parents in an outpatient pediatric clinic. Methods: Patients were seen by a three member interprofessional team consisting of a Physician or Physician Assistant (PA), medical student or PA student, and dietetic intern. At the end of the visit, patients were given a survey to assess their satisfaction with the visit. The survey evaluated patient satisfaction with the interprofessional team with, how helpful and how likely they were to use the nutritional advice given to them during the visit, and their perception on whether the interprofessional team improved the quality of their visit. Patients were asked to rank these factors on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being unsatisfied and a 5 being highly satisfied. Results: Out of 95 patients, 96.8% rated their happiness with the interprofessional team as a 5/5; 95.7% rated the helpfulness of the nutritional advice 5/5; 94.7% rated their likelihood of utilizing the nutritional advice 5/5; 94.7% rated the improvement in the quality of their visit 5/5. Conclusions: Overall, patients were satisfied with the nutritional information they received from the interprofessional team and viewed being seen by a team as an improvement in the quality of their visit. Utilizing an interprofessional team has the potential to be an efficacious method of delivery of nutritional information to patients and improve wellness and prevention. In future studies, the likelihood of patients to implement this nutritional advice will be tracked via EMR and compared to groups that were not seen by an interprofessional team in order to assess the efficacy of team-based healthcare.