PP-024 : Addressing child overweight - GPs’ perceptions of barriers and potentials in general practice

Merethe Kirstine Kousgaard Andersen, Denmark
To analyse GPs’ experiences with addressing child overweight, focusing on barriers and potentials. General practice has a central position in the Danish healthcare system and general practitioners (GPs) may play a key role in identifying and treating overweight children. However, little is known about how GPs presently address child overweight.

Focus group interviews with 19 GPs were conducted, 10 GPs were randomly selected from the GP register, and 9 GPs were members of a CME group of GPs.

GPs perceive addressing overweight as complex and taboo. Treatment being associated with poor success: “When you don’t think you’re successful, what’s the use?”. Addressing child overweight can pose a potential threat to the doctor-patient relationship: “…it can ruin the relationship we have with the family and shall continue to have”. The relationship of trust and the continuity, i.e. the routine health examination, may provide GPs opportunities when addressing child overweight: “There I think…. I have the right to say it”.

Addressing child overweight is complex and associated with various barriers. Timing is essential and GPs find that the routine health examinations may provide a legal access to address child overweight.