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Wellness and weight groups in practice

A practice runs positive support groups to improve the mental and physical health of patients

Please refer to the disclaimer before reading the case studies.


The Stirling Central Health Clinic facilitates ‘Wellness and Weight’ groups for working adults aged 40-49 years with a BMI of >25kg/m2. Six group sessions of approximately 10 participants are run over a number of weeks and held after-hours. The group sessions focus on encouraging and enabling participants to identify and increase positive health activities rather than focusing solely on weight loss. Education is presented from weight-inclusive perspective using positive language and includes presentations on mindful eating, positive body image, stress reduction, enjoyable activity versus ‘exercise’ and nutrition. Presenters include a clinical psychologist and a dietitian with a special interest in the management of obesity. Participants develop and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related) program goals in conjunction with the practice nurse, and outcomes are measured at three, six and 12 months. Measurements taken include BMI, blood pressure and bloods, as well as measurements of happiness and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) score. Participants are also asked to identify healthy activities they would like to try and, where possible, one-off ‘try before you buy’ sessions are arranged in addition to the six sessions. Activities identified have included Pilates, healthy cooking class and a screening of the documentary Embrace. One of the most valuable outcomes has been the social support the participants find within the group setting, which helps them to continue their health-positive journey upon conclusion of the group settings.

Sally Jarrett, Practice Manager, Stirling Central Health Clinic


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.