A few years ago, we completed an environmental scan of multi-disciplinary clinics in Canada that were dedicated to helping families manage obesity in children and youth. At that time, few clinics were undertaking research to examine the impact of their health services on the health and well-being of participating families. However, things have changed…in a good way!
A number of clinicians and scientists involved with these clinical programs have published outcome data in recent years. A paper from our clinical program in Edmonton is complimented by reports from the Shapedown program at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver and the STOMP program at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. The most recent report, published this month in Paediatrics and Child Health, includes results from the Infant Child and Adolescent Nutrition Clinic at North York General Hospital in Toronto.
These individual reports are informative and provide some perspective on clinic/program structure, function, and outcomes (most of which can be described as modest, but positive). Still, the most comprehensive assessment of the impact of multi-disciplinary care for managing pediatric obesity in Canada will be made possible over the next few years through the CANadian Pediatric Weight management Registry (CANPWR), which will include data from 1,000+ children and families enrolled in clinics located across the country.
Overall, it’s an encouraging and important trend, evaluating the impact of specialized services for managing pediatric obesity – clinics can collaborate and learn from one another; administrators can appraise and adapt health services delivery based on relevant data; and families can expect to receive the best possible evidence-based care.