Project Coversheet

Date of Award


Degree Type

DNP Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)




Alejandra Valenzuela, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC/PC


Obesity has been a growing epidemic over the last few decades. Obesity and being overweight contribute to numerous chronic health conditions including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Multifaceted treatments recommended include lifestyle/behavioral therapy, health education, pharmacotherapy, and sometimes bariatric surgery. Due to the variety of complications and patient circumstances, patients need ongoing follow-up, reevaluation, and oftentimes, long-term treatment. This poses adherence issues to treatment plans. This quality improvement project's purpose is to improve therapy adherence and quality of life outcomes for patients with obesity by providing education and support for healthier lifestyle choices within the primary care clinic setting.

Fourteen patients were followed weekly for four weeks by their primary care provider who guided each patient with weekly weight loss goals. Evidence-based interventions were implemented using clinical practice guideline recommendations and a literature review of current studies available on the topic. Interventions included a Paleolithic-inspired diet with a protein shake meal replacement recipe, cardiorespiratory and strength training exercises suitable for the patient’s current capabilities, and pharmacotherapy if appropriate. The healthcare provider guided the patient using motivational interviewing techniques to assist in achieving their weekly goals. Seven of the 14 patients were able to complete the four-week project. These patients all reflected an increase in understanding of effective lifestyle changes for weight loss. They successfully saw a decrease in their BMI and waist circumference measurements and also reported an increase in confidence in their ability to lose weight in the future.