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An Office-Based Health Promotion Intervention for Overweight and Obese Uninsured Adults: A Feasibility Study

Buchholz, Susan Weber PhD, RN; Wilbur, JoEllen PhD, RN, FAAN; Miskovich, Lynn MS, RN; Gerard, Peggy PhD, RN

The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: January/February 2012 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 68–75
doi: 10.1097/JCN.0b013e3182112829

Background and Research Objective: Obesity continues to put more than two-thirds of the American adult population at risk for cardiovascular disease and other health problems. For the obese who are also medically uninsured, obtaining primary healthcare is very difficult. Engaging in no- or low-cost health promotion behaviors such as physical activity and diet modification can help to reduce the effects of obesity. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and initial efficacy of a nurse-delivered tailored physical activity intervention (health intervention promotion) to uninsured, overweight or obese adults seen in a free clinic. Feasibility was assessed by examining their adherence (attendance) to a visit with a registered nurse once a month for 6 months, and initial efficacy was assessed by examining weight loss over the 6-month intervention, as well as compliance with the measures of step counts and dietary log.

Subjects and Methods: This mainly female (89%), white (70%) sample had a mean age of 46.65 (SD, 10.48) years.

Results and Conclusions: Of the 123 participants who began the study, 23 (19%) completed all 6 months, although 49% came for 3 or more visits. Although the partial adherers in the study did have a decrease in body mass index (BMI) from 39.64 to 39.29 kg/m2, it was not a significant decrease. The full adherers to the study had a significant decrease in BMI from 37.27 to 36.67 kg/m2 (P = .027). This feasibility study demonstrated that a nurse counseling intervention was effective in decreasing BMI in those participants who fully adhered to the visits.

Susan Weber Buchholz, PhD, RN Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

JoEllen Wilbur, PhD, RN, FAAN Professor, Endowed Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing, Associate Dean for Research, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Lynn Miskovich, MS, RN Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana.

Peggy Gerard, PhD, RN Dean, School of Nursing, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence Susan Weber Buchholz, PhD, RN, Rush University Medical Center, 600 S Paulina St, Suite 1063B AAC, Chicago, IL 60612 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.