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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan;68(1):50-6. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.219. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Examining the content of weight, nutrition and physical activity advices provided by Dutch practice nurses in primary care: analysis of videotaped consultations.

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  • 1Strategic Communication, Section Communication, Philosophy and Technology-Centre for Integrative Development (CPT-CID), Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
  • 2NIVEL, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • 31] NIVEL, Utrecht, The Netherlands [2] Department of Primary and Community Care, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands [3] Department of Health Sciences, Buskerud University College, Drammen, Norway.



To examine the content of Dutch practice nurses' (PNs') advices about weight, nutrition and physical activity to overweight and obese patients.


A 100 videotaped real-life PN consultations (The Netherlands, 2010/2011) with overweight or obese patients were selected. An observational checklist was developed to assess frequency and content. Personalization of advices was scored, as also the guidelines on which PNs based their advices. Content analysis was used to identify different categories of advices.


About one quarter of advices concerned weight, over two-thirds nutrition and one-third physical activity. Lose weight, eat less fat and be more physically active in general were the main categories for each type of advice. Despite high clarity of advices, lower scores were found for specificity and personalization. Very few nutrition advices were provided in combination with physical activity advices.


Weight advices often related to the patient's complaint. PNs seldom set a concrete weight goal. Although benefits of physical activity were discussed, often no practical advices were provided about how to achieve this. Integrated lifestyle advice was not common: advices about nutrition and physical activity were fragmented throughout the consultation. Obesity prevention needs more emphasis in PNs' educational programs.

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