Empathy goes a long way in weight loss discussions

TitleEmpathy goes a long way in weight loss discussions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPollak, KI, Østbye, T, Alexander, SC, Gradison, M, Bastian, LA, Brouwer, RNJ, Lyna, P
JournalJournal of Family Practice
PublisherDowden Health Media
Place PublishedUS
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0094-35091533-7294
Accession Number2007-19725-002. First Author & Affiliation: Pollak, Kathryn I.
KeywordsEmpathy, family medicine, family practice patients, Human Females, motivational interviewing, Obesity, Overweight, Physicians, Therapeutic Processes, weight control, weight loss discussions

Purpose: This study explores how weight-related topics are discussed between physicians and their overweight and obese female patients. Methods: We surveyed and audio-recorded preventive health and chronic care visits with 25 overweight and obese female patients. We coded both for quantity (content and time) of weight-related discussions and quality (adherence to Motivational Interviewing [MI] techniques). We then tested correlations of these measures with patients' reported attempts to lose weight, change diet, and change exercise patterns 1 month after the visit. Results: Weight was routinely addressed (19 of 25 encounters). Patients usually initiated the topic (67% of time). Physicians' use of MI techniques resulted in patients attempting to lose weight and changing their exercise patterns. Conclusion: Physicians may benefit from MI training to help patients lose weight. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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