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Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Oct;89(1):152-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.06.033. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Primary care providers' communication with patients during weight counseling: a focus group study.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. gudzune@jhu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Primary care providers (PCPs) are encouraged to counsel their obese patients about weight loss. We used focus groups to explore how PCPs communicate with patients about weight management.

METHODS:

During the summer of 2010, we conducted five focus groups of community-based PCPs who had patients enrolled in a practice-based, randomized controlled weight loss trial in Maryland. Focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Two investigators independently coded transcripts for thematic content using editing style analysis.

RESULTS:

Twenty-six PCPs from six different practices participated. Mean years in practice were 16.4 (SD 11.7) and 77% practiced internal medicine. We identified three communication-based themes about weight loss counseling: (1) motivating patients to lose weight, (2) partnering with the patient to achieve weight loss, and (3) handling challenges that arise during weight counseling.

CONCLUSION:

PCPs use a variety of strategies to communicate with their patients about weight loss. Some PCPs already use patient-centered approaches to communicate with their patients about weight loss, suggesting that future weight counseling interventions should be tailored to build upon this strength.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

PCPs' weight loss counseling may be improved by using techniques with demonstrated behavior change effectiveness such as the 5A's or motivational interviewing.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22819710
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3462265
Free PMC Article
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