Background: The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically in Greece in the last two decades, and more than 35% of children and adolescents are currently overweight or obese. Prevention could be the key strategy for controlling the current epidemic of obesity.
Objective and hypotheses: Prevention is the main scope of the Program entitled Development of a National System for the Prevention and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence in Greece (MIS 370545), which is funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 20072013. The Program is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and the Research Center of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School. It is implemented by the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, First Department of Pediatrics, Aghia Sophia Childrens Hospital, which serves as a National Center for the Prevention and Management of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence.
Method: The soft systems methodology (SSM) is a systemic approach for dealing with real-world complex or problematic situations. SSM is used to manage the complexity raised by the interaction of the center, the primary stakeholders and the external environment consisting of the hosting hospital, other hospitals, paediatricians, partners, collaborating organizations, societies and others, which all together form an integrated whole. Applying SSMs CATWOE statement (Clients, Actors, Transformation, Worldview, Owner, Environmental Constrains) and modelling the problem at different abstraction levels, also serves as a means to understand the whole system.
Results: The methodology was instrumental in augmenting our understanding of the systemic interaction of the systems elements and the underlying structures associated with the Centers internal and external operating environment.
Conclusion: The methodology illustrated the communication arrangements, which contribute to delays in system flows that impact the operating effectiveness of the procedures associated with the management of overweight and/or obese children.
Funding: The Program entitled Development of a National System for the Prevention and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence in Greece (MIS 370545), is funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 20072013.
01 Oct 2015 - 03 Oct 2015