Date of Award


Degree Name

Nursing (D.N.P.)


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Marie VanderKooi

Second Advisor

Sylvia Simons

Third Advisor

Teresa Farah


Background: Obesity among adults is characterized by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. The impairment and disability resulting from obesity indicates a significant health problem that is often seen in primary care settings. Research indicates that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an underutilized, but extremely beneficial intervention that may support individuals in achieving weight loss. Adults suffering from obesity with or without comorbid conditions such as psychiatric disorders (e.g. anxiety and depression) have benefitted from CBT.

Purpose: To implement the increased utilization of CBT in the adult population with obesity and depression or anxiety in a primary care setting.

Methods: Based on an extensive review of literature, a project was designed and conducted to increase knowledge and utilization of CBT by health care providers for the treatment of obesity. Outcome evaluation was based on post-implementation questionnaire and data regarding number of referrals made to the in-office cognitive behavioral therapist.

Results: Results include an increased understanding, by health care providers of CBT use for treatment of obesity, and an increased number in referrals to the cognitive behavioral therapist.

Conclusion: Delivering health care providers information about CBT increased their likelihood to recommend and place referrals to the in-office cognitive behavioral therapist for future patients with BMI of 30 or greater.