Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)

First Advisor

Dr. Teresa Hamill


There are cultural, genetic, fiscal, historical, and geographic factors that have contributed to Mississippi having the highest level of obesity in the United States. As the only available source of treatment for obesity for many patients, primary care providers need to feel prepared and effective in treating obesity, and need ways to address obesity that are respectful and person-centered. Motivational interviewing is a counseling process for behavior change that empowers the patient to determine their own goals, motivations, and strategies to establish weight reducing habits. A quality improvement project was developed for primary care providers to educate them on the concepts of motivational interviewing, and to equip them with information in the electronic medical record to act as a framework for the process of weight reduction counseling during a primary care office visit. Participants were provided with a link to an electronic inventory of their perceptions of the process of weight reduction counseling and knowledge of concepts related to person-centered weight management topics and person-first language. An educational video was created by the researcher that introduced the concepts of motivational interviewing, and a template was created for the electronic medical record that guided the provider through documentation and patient instructions. After implementation of the 60-days pilot program, providers were asked to complete another inventory to see if their perceptions changed and an evaluation of the electronic template and resources. Results indicated that participants did not perceive an improvement in comfort level with weight reduction counseling but did perceive an improvement in effectiveness. When asked questions related to consent and person-first language, participants showed an improvement in grasp of person-centered care concepts. 5 Participants stated that they found the educational video and electronic templates to be beneficial to their practice. It is concluded that education for primary care providers regarding motivational interviewing for weight management counseling should continue across the state to improve the quality of care provided to patients with obesity.