Project Summary

PCORI implementation projects promote the use of findings from PCORI-funded studies in real-world healthcare and other settings. These projects build toward broad use of evidence to inform healthcare decisions.

This PCORI-funded implementation project is expanding a healthy weight program for children to new clinics to help children with obesity or overweight improve their health.

Childhood obesity or overweight affects millions of children in the United States. Children with obesity may develop health problems in the future, such as heart disease or high blood pressure. Children who have obesity are also at risk for low self-esteem and depression.

What is the goal of this implementation project?

Healthy weight programs can help children with obesity or overweight manage their weight. A PCORI-funded research study looked at two programs to help doctors identify children with obesity and provide counseling to them.In these programs, parents receive educational materials and resource guides as well as monthly text message prompts. One program also included health coaching and extra text messages. After two years, children in both programs had lower body mass index, or BMI. BMI is based on a person’s height and weight.

This project is expanding the combined program to clinics in communities with limited resources in three states to help children achieve a healthy weight.

What will this project do?

The project team is working with staff to make the program part of standard well-child visits at three healthcare organizations. Clinicians, such as doctors or nurses, use information in the child’s electronic health record, or EHR, to help them identify and counsel children with obesity.

The project team is working with staff to:

  • Adapt and add resources, such as alerts and templates, to EHR systems to help identify children and follow up with families
  • Provide information to clinicians on how to manage children’s weight
  • Identify clinician champions and practice coaches at each site to support training and use of the healthy weight program
  • Train clinic teams to use the program
  • Provide ongoing coaching and support for staff
  • Create a guide to help other clinics adopt the program

What is the expected impact of this project?

The project is expanding the program and demonstrating what’s required to put the program in place at clinics serving communities with few resources.

About 18,000 children with overweight or obesity will receive support through the project. The project evaluation will confirm that the program is working as intended to help manage children’s weight.

More about this implementation project:

Stakeholders Involved in This Project

  • Site-level executive leadership
  • Clinical leaders and practice teams at all implementation sites
  • Epic representatives

Implementation Strategies

  • Adapt the program to work with sites’ existing resources and workflows, including integrating a text messaging system for families and a clinical decision support tool into EHR.
  • Create and support implementation teams at sites.
  • Train local practice teams using online educational modules and academic detailing.
  • Provide sites with tools to support implementation, including best practice guidance, trainings, and structured note templates in the EHR.
  • Provide educational materials to families, including handouts, after-visit summaries, and community resource guides.
  • Use a phased implementation approach.
  • Identify and prepare clinician champions.
  • Provide technical assistance, including practice facilitation, coaching, and ongoing consultation.
  • Partner with national stakeholder organization to promote implementation and dissemination.
  • Develop an implementation guide to support further use of the program at other sites.
  • Offer continuing education credits.

Evaluation Outcomes

To document implementation:

  • Provider use of EHR tool
  • Number of parents receiving text messages
  • Fidelity of intervention delivery
  • Acceptability of the program to clinicians

To assess healthcare and health outcomes:

  • Provision of nutrition and physical activity counseling
  • Parent assessment of care
  • Child BMI

Project Information

Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH
Massachusetts General Hospital
Dissemination and Implementation of Effective Childhood Obesity Treatment Innovations

Key Dates

July 2018
December 2022

Study Registration Information

Initial PCORI-Funded Research Study

This implementation project focuses on putting findings into practice from this completed PCORI-funded research study: Do Weight Management Programs Involving Health Coaches Improve Body Mass Index and Parent Empowerment for Children with Obesity or Who Are Overweight?


Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Project Details Type
Last updated: January 20, 2023