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Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Dec;85(3):e322-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2011.01.001. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Impact of patient obesity on the patient-provider relationship.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. kgudzun1@jhu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Health professionals' weight bias may impair obese patients' interactions with providers. However, few studies have examined how negative provider attitudes affect the patient-provider relationship for obese patients. We hypothesized that higher patient body mass index (BMI) would be negatively associated with patient-provider relationship quality.

METHODS:

We analyzed data from the 2007 Health Tracking Household Survey. BMI was the independent variable, and patient-perceived quality of the patient-provider relationship was the outcome. We performed log-binominal regression analyses accounting for complex survey design to examine the association of BMI with the patient-provider relationship.

RESULTS:

Of the 15,197 adult survey respondents, the 6427 who answered the quality of care questions were eligible for analysis. Overall, 29% had a normal range BMI, 34% were overweight, and 37% were obese. We found few differences in ratings of the patient-provider relationship for overweight and obese respondents when compared to respondents with a normal range BMI.

CONCLUSION:

These unexpected findings may have occurred due to patients' inability to perceive providers' weight bias, measurement error in questionnaire items, or decreasing weight bias among health professionals.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Patient's positive perceptions of providers may indicate promise for health professionals acting as motivators of behavior change in obese patients.

PMID:
21282029
PMCID:
PMC3101320
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2011.01.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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