To determine how obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYNs) perceive the gynecologic health effects of obesity and to identify perceived obstacles to counseling. OB/GYNs with 3 St. Louis health systems were emailed a 46-question survey regarding physicians’ role in counseling women on the health risks of obesity and barriers faced in achieving this counseling. Differences between respondents’ gender, age, practice type, years in practice, and body mass index were assessed using Chi-square or Fisher's exact tests as appropriate. Of 318 OB/GYNs emailed, 134 completed surveys, including 82 generalists and 52 subspecialists. 93% of respondents believed it was necessary to educate patients on health risks of obesity. 90% and 75%, respectively, cited diagnoses of endometrial hyperplasia and cancer as teachable moments for counseling. The most frequently cited barriers to successful counseling were lack of time, referral services, and patient tools/information. Most did not believe they had adequate reimbursement (65%), training (53%) or educational resources (50%) to counsel patients. Survey answers differed by practice setting, gender, and provider age. Although most OB/GYN providers consider obesity counseling important, execution is hindered by perceived barriers that differ by provider gender, age, and practice type. For OB/GYNs, more effective weight management counseling will require better training and practice-specific strategies. Based on survey responses, better reimbursement combined with increased resources for appropriate referrals and cancer prevention counseling are needed in order to improve weight management implementation in OB/GYN.
- Endometrial cancer
- Weight management counseling