Population Effects of MI on Pediatric Obesity in Primary Care


In this cluster randomized effectiveness trial, pediatric primary care practices will be recruited from the American Academy of Pediatrics' national Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) practice-based research network, as well as the client database of the Physician's Computer Company (PCC) – an Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor. We will recruit 18 practices. 9 practices will be randomized to the Intervention arm and 9 practices to Usual Care. Intervention arm practices will select 1-2 pediatric clinicians, including pediatricians (PED) and nurse practitioners (NP), to receive in-person training in Motivational Interviewing (MI), behavioral therapy, billing and coding, and study procedures. Usual Care practices will select 1-2 pediatric clinicians to receive billing / coding and study protocol training only, via telephone and webinar; they will be offered in-person MI training at the close of the trial. Around 316 parents of overweight or obese children (BMI > 85th percentile for age and gender) between 3 and 11 years of age at baseline that are patients of participating Intervention arm clinicians will be enrolled. Over 24 months, these parents may receive up to 4 in-person, MI-based counseling sessions with a trained pediatric clinician and up to 6 telephone counseling sessions with an MI-trained Registered Dietician (RD). There will be no study-specific contact with parents or their children in Usual Care practices during the trial – they will continue to receive usual care. EHR and billing data for all 3-11 year old children within all participating practices will be extracted by PCC to permit determination of the effectiveness of the intervention versus usual care on change in BMI z-score among 3 groups: 1) all eligible children in the Intervention arm), 2) all eligible children whose parent actively participates in the trial , and 3) all 3-11 year old children in all participating practices.

Full Title of Study: “Population Effects of Motivational Interviewing on Pediatric Obesity in Primary Care”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: January 31, 2021


  • Behavioral: Intervention by Clinicians
    • PCPs deliver 4 sessions of MI in person, and RDs deliver 6 sessions of MI via telephone. PCPs and RDs will receive 2 days of MI training.
  • Behavioral: Usual Care
    • PCPs provide care as normal

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Usual Care
    • 1-2 pediatric clinicians per practice will be trained in study procedures, current obesity treatment guidelines, and obesity billing and coding via telephone and webinar NO active enrollment of parents Secure extraction of HIPAA limited Electronic Health Record (EHR) and billing data from practices for outcomes analyses At the end of the intervention period, 1-2 pediatric clinicians will be offered the in-person MI training and DVD materials
  • Experimental: Intervention by Clinicians
    • Clinicians complete surveys during enrollment and end of the intervention 1-2 clinicians from each practice will receive 2.5 days of in-person MI training, two scored encounters with a standardized patient, and an interactive DVD MI booster training system focusing on pediatric obesity. Enroll 35 eligible parents per practice Clinicians give up to 4 in-person, MI sessions to enrolled parents over 2 years. Dietitians will provide up to 6 telephone counseling sessions. •Parents will complete surveys after enrollment and at the end of intervention

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • % BMI distance from the median for age and sex
    • Time Frame: Approximately 2 years from baseline
    • Change in child BMI % BMI distance from the median for age and sex across the intervention. At the conclusion of the trial, BMI values for eligible children will be extracted from the electronic health record. Potential covariates include: days since baseline, sex, age, and ethnicity. To control for cluster randomization effects we will utilize SAS/PROC MIXED with practice treated as a random effect with TX condition nested in practice. Key potential effect modifiers include patient age, race, and gender.

Secondary Measures

  • Effectiveness among patients of study clinicians trained in MI and whose parents engage in the intervention (per-protocol analysis)
    • Time Frame: Approximately 2 years from baseline
    • Although the primary intention to treat analyses described above for primary outcome will include all patients assigned to groups regardless of intervention exposure, as a secondary analysis, we will examine effects among the subsample of children who parents actively participated in the intervention, defined as receipt of at least 50% of the planned MI dose. The same modeling approaches discussed above will be employed to test this secondary aim.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • For Practices: Currently use Physician's Computer Company (PCC) as their Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor – For Clinicians: Have been employed by the practice for at least 1 year on or before July 1, 2017 Work > half time (at least 6 sessions per week) – For Parents: Parent or legal guardian of a child that meets the following criteria: At least 3 but not yet 12 years of age on the date of the baseline data pull (estimated to occur in the summer or fall of 2017). BMI for age and gender > 85th percentile - documented at an office visit that occurred during the 12 months prior to the baseline data pull. Most recent well-child visit was with a participating study clinician during the 24 months prior to the baseline data pull Exclusion Criteria:

  • For Practices: Offer a comprehensive weight loss program or access to a RD at or through the practice. Unable or unwilling to send all participating study clinicians to in-person training.Unable or unwilling to identify and assign a study coordinator for the study – For Clinicians: > 1 day of prior training in MI within the past 10 years. Prior participation in the AAP/PROS Healthy Lifestyles Pilot Study (HLS; AAP IRB protocol # 01SC01) or Brief Motivational Interviewing to Reduce Body Mass Index (BMI2) Study (AAP IRB protocol # 07RE01). – For Parents: Does not speak either English or Spanish. Parent or legal guardian of a child who has any of the following documented in their EHR: Type I or Type II diabetes. Daily or chronic use of medications known to affect growth and mood / behavior (growth hormones, SSRIs, stimulants).Use of atypical antipsychotics. A chronic, limiting, severe medical disorder, syndrome, or other condition (e.g., Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy)

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 3 Years

Maximum Age: 11 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of Michigan
  • Collaborator
    • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Ken Resnicow, Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education – University of Michigan
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Kenneth Resnicow, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, University of Michigan
    • Emerson Delacroix, M.A.C.P., Study Director, University of Michigan

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