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Improving weight by working together


A general practice assists overweight and obese patients by providing support and improving health literacy

Please refer to the disclaimer before reading the case studies.
 

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Staff at a practice identified overweight and obesity as a problem they wanted to tackle (67% of patients aged >40 years were overweight and obese). But the practice GPs felt frustrated in supporting patients to lose weight – their patients rarely took on or adhered to preventive advice. Patient health literacy was identified as a problem, the GPs agreed that many of their patients did not fully understand how much they should be eating or how to go about exercising.
At a staff meeting, each staff member contributed to the discussion regarding the issues faced. The practice nurse was interested in being more involved in weight management but lacked sufficient time to take patients through a structured program involving multiple sessions.

So, the following strategy was devised: As overweight and obese patients were identified by the GPs, they were offered an appointment with the practice nurse for a health check, which involved some brief education and goal-setting. The practice nurse then assisted the patients to register for free telephone weight management coaching provided by the state health department. The practice nurse then followed patients up after a few weeks to determine if they found it helpful and what progress they were making.

Prof Mark Harris, Green book Editorial Committee


Disclaimer

The information set out in this publication is current at the date of first publication and is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. Nor is this publication exhaustive of the subject matter. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances when so doing. Compliance with any recommendations cannot of itself guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional and the premises from which the health professional operates.

Accordingly, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Ltd (RACGP) and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including without limitation liability by reason of negligence) to any users of the information contained in this publication for any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise), cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in this publication and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation in the information.

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