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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Aug;37(2):163.

Weight and its relationship to adolescent perceptions of their providers (WRAP): a qualitative and quantitative assessment of teen weight-related preferences and concerns.

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National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1862, USA.



To examine the relationship of body weight to satisfaction with care in adolescents, and to obtain qualitative data on preferences for general and weight-related medical care in normal weight and overweight adolescents.


The Weight and its Relationship to Adolescent Perceptions of their Providers survey, a 4-page questionnaire containing previously validated satisfaction scales and open-ended qualitative questions regarding health care preferences, was administered to 62 severely overweight (body mass index [BMI] 38.9 +/- 8.4 kg/m2) and 29 normal weight (BMI 22.5 +/- 4.0 kg/m2) adolescents (age 13.9 +/- 1.7 years; 57% female; 50% Caucasian, 47% African-American, 3% Hispanic).


The affective subscale of the medical satisfaction scale was negatively correlated with BMI standard deviation score (r = -.22, p < .05). Multiple regression models predicting affective satisfaction with medical care included BMI standard deviation score; however, continuity with provider appeared to be the strongest independent predictor of affective satisfaction. Fifty-five percent of participants identified their mother as the person they felt most comfortable talking with about weight, although 68% believed their provider knew the most about healthy eating. "Overweight" was identified by 47% of participants as the preferred term for heavy teens. Seventy-nine percent of overweight adolescents stated their health care provider discussed their weight with them; however, only 41% of overweight adolescents desired to discuss their weight. Compared to normal-weight adolescents, overweight teens were more likely to report that their provider raised topics of weight (p < .001), diet (p < .01), and exercise (p < .01) at their last physical, and were more likely to report that they would have liked their provider to discuss diet and exercise (both p < .05). Ten percent of overweight teens expressed concerns regarding the public location of their provider's office scale.


Satisfaction with affective aspects of the provider-patient relationship is negatively correlated with BMI standard deviation score. Length of experience with one's provider is also a strong predictor of teen satisfaction with their medical care. Teens prefer the term "overweight" for those with high body weight. Sensitivity to confidentiality, privacy, and embarrassment regarding physical examination and weight are important for teen satisfaction.

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