Primary care support for tackling obesity: a qualitative study of the perceptions of obese patients

BROWN, I., THOMPSON, J., TOD, A. and JONES, G. (2006). Primary care support for tackling obesity: a qualitative study of the perceptions of obese patients. British journal of general practice., 56 (530), 666-672.

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Abstract

Background: Obesity has become a major public health issue and there is concern about the response of health services to patients who are obese. The perceptions of obese patients using primary care services have not been studied in depth. Aim: To explore obese patients' experiences and perceptions of support in primary care. Design of study: Qualitative study with semi-structured interviews conducted in participants' homes. Setting: Five general practices contrasting in socioeconomic populations in Sheffield. Method: Purposive sampling and semi-structured interviewing of 28 patients with a diverse range of ages, backgrounds, levels of obesity and experiences of primary care services. Results: Participants typically felt reluctance when presenting with concerns about weight and ambivalence about the services received. They also perceived there to be ambivalence and a lack of resources on the part of the health services. Participants showed a strong sense of personal responsibility about their condition and stigma-related cognitions were common. These contributed to their ambivalence about using services and their sensitivity to its features. Good relationships with primary care professionals and more intensive support partly ameliorated these effects. Conclusion: The challenges of improving access to and quality of primary care support in tackling obesity are made more complex by patients' ambivalence and other effects of the stigma associated with obesity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: obesity, primary health care, qualitative research, shame
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2010 16:58
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/268

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