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Managing Childhood Obesity in a Patient-Centered Medical Home


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Managing childhood obesity in a patient-centered medical home setting is the fourth and final installment of APTA’s online Learning Labs series based on the Innovation 2.0 initiative.

To review the recording from the live Q and A session use this link! To review the course content you must be registered for the course, then select "show resources" from the course description.

Session Description:

Are you a physical therapist who is participating in a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model? Or are you interested in managing childhood obesity? Or both? Here is your chance to hear from your colleagues about their work in a PCMH and in population health, and learn from their experiences, as APTA’s fourth Innovation 2.0 online Learning Lab focuses on how physical therapists can be key players in patient-centered medical homes.

Childhood obesity is a prevalent chronic health condition that has reached epidemic levels in the United States. This serious health problem needs more comprehensive and cost-effective approaches, and the PCMH may be a practical solution. In this innovative health care model, the physical therapist (PT) plays a key role in measurements of obesity-related signs and symptoms that affect the human movement system, including aerobic fitness and strength deficit, lower extremity joint pain, gait dysfunction, and motor control deficit. The PT also evaluates and monitors children's physical activity and sedentary behaviors, and is trained in behavioral strategies to enhance physical activity and parental support. The model measures cost-effectiveness by tracking incidence of disease rates and hospitalization for obesity-related conditions.

Other members of the team include the pediatrician, medical fellow, nutritionist, nurse/nurse practitioner, social worker, biostatistician, and health care coordinator. Referrals to specialists (such as PTs when a cluster of impairments appear that indicate a movement disorder associated with obesity) also are coordinated so that appropriate care is received. Regular follow-ups document progress and help the young patients and their families with self-management. This model also could provide support for including PTs in PCMHs that target other chronic health conditions that affect movement.


  • Brian Wrotniak, PT, PhD
  • Anthony Caterina, MD
  • Fred Archer III, MD
  • Julie Cicero, RN
  • Lauren Angelucci, PT
  • Jennifer Kuhrt, PT
  • Elliot Ogorek
  • Eric Read, SPT