Identification and management of children and adolescents with obesity referred to a general paediatric outpatient department

Type Article

Journal Article


J. McGirr; G. O’Malley; Ó. Walsh

Year of publication



Irish Medical Journal








Aims To identify all children and adolescents with overweight or obesity attending the outpatient department and audit our processes in their identification and management against NICE standards. Methods A retrospective chart review was performed. BMI charts were used to identify children and adolescents with overweight/obesity. The patient journey was audited to ascertain if overweight/obesity was identified by the clinician, whether this was communicated to the child or adolescent/their carer and whether intervention was offered. Results There were 669 scheduled appointments and 27.3%(n=127) of children ≥2 years and adolescents were identified with overweight/obesity. Children and adolescents referred for reasons not primarily related to obesity management were identified (90.6% (n=115)) and this group was analysed. Height and weight and/or BMI were communicated in 13.9% (n=16) of referral letters. A record of discussing growth was observed in 15.7% (n=18) of cases. Growth measurements were included in the post-clinic correspondence to the primary care physician in 56.8% (n=63) of letters. Discussion Further research is required to ascertain what barriers exist to the discussion of growth. Additional education of healthcare providers is necessary to develop standardised procedures around processes related to child and adolescent growth.