The role of primary care in adult weight management: qualitative interviews with key stakeholders in weight management services

Blane, D. N. , Macdonald, S. , Morrison, D. and O'Donnell, C. A. (2017) The role of primary care in adult weight management: qualitative interviews with key stakeholders in weight management services. BMC Health Services Research, 17, 764. (doi: 10.1186/s12913-017-2729-7) (PMID:29162111) (PMCID:PMC5698950)

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Background: Primary care has a key role to play in the prevention and management of obesity, but there remain barriers to engagement in weight management by primary care practitioners. The aim of this study was to explore the views of key stakeholders in adult weight management services on the role of primary care in adult weight management. Methods: Qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with nine senior dietitians involved in NHS weight management from seven Scottish health boards. Transcripts were analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Results: A range of tensions were apparent within three key themes: weight management service issues, the role of primary care, and communication with primary care. For weight management services, these tensions were around funding, the management model of obesity, and how to configure access to services. For primary care, they were around what primary care should be doing, who should be doing it, and where this activity should fit within wider weight management policy. With regard to communication between weight management services and primary care, there were tensions related to the approach taken (locally adapted versus centralised), the message being communicated (weight loss versus wellbeing), and the response from practitioners (engagement versus resistance). Conclusions: Primary care can do more to support adult weight management, but this requires better engagement and communication with weight management services, to overcome the tensions highlighted in this study. This, in turn, requires more secure, sustained funding. The example of smoking cessation in the UK, where there is a network of well-resourced NHS Stop Smoking Services, accessible via different means, could be a model to follow.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Morrison, Dr David and O'Donnell, Professor Kate and Blane, Dr David and Macdonald, Professor Sara
Authors: Blane, D. N., Macdonald, S., Morrison, D., and O'Donnell, C. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:BMC Health Services Research
Publisher:Biomed Central
ISSN (Online):1472-6963
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Health Services Research 17: 764
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
636631Understanding the role of primary care in the management of co-morbid obesity: a mixed methods programme.Catherine O'DonnellOffice of the Chief Scientist (CSO)CAF/13/13IHW - GENERAL PRACTICE & PRIMARY CARE