<Stockton, KS>. — Selected patients of Solomon Valley Family Medicine will soon be participating in RE-POWER, a research study examining the best ways to treat obesity in rural areas. RE-POWER is an innovative and collaborative multi-site research study comparing three different models to treat obesity in primary care practices throughout the Midwestern United States.
Conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the study will include patients from 36 practices in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin. Staff from Solomon Valley Family Medicine attended training this past summer at KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Research partners include the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin.
“We wanted to be a part of RE-POWER because obesity is a serious problem that affects our patients every day,” said Beth Oller, MD, “Studies like these give our patients practical tools to lose weight and keep it off, and we hope the data gathered gives family doctors insight on best approaches for rural residents.”
Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural communities, and individuals from rural areas have higher rates of obesity and obesity-related illnesses than individuals in urban areas. Those illnesses include diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. This study will test three different approaches to weight management, following either an individual or group counseling format. Participants in all three groups will be instructed on diet, exercise and behavioral changes that provide sustained weight loss.
“RE-POWER is a multi-site trial with a patient-centered approach,” said Christie Befort, Ph.D, principal investigator for the study and an associate professor in the University of Kansas School Of Medicine’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. “Primary care doctors and researchers from across the Midwest are teaming up to deliver weight management programs to rural patients.”
The program is supported by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and it is offered at no cost to the participating practices and their eligible patients.
Solomon Valley Family Medicine is one of 20 practices in Kansas participating in the study over a 36-month period.
“We appreciate the opportunity to expand our services to our community, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate with other rural practices,” said Dr. Oller.