Numerous studies have sought to investigate the causes of obesity and the effectiveness of interventions for its treatment. However, there is little published evidence to describe patients' experiences of becoming and being obese. This paper reports on a qualitative study to explore the views and experiences of patients who had recently completed a primary care-based weight management intervention. Weight gain was often attributed to life events that caused changes in appetite and activity levels, rather than directly attributed to over-eating or inactivity. Triggers to help-seeking included health concerns, image factors and past experiences of stigmatization. Personalized messages and ongoing support from professionals and peers were identified as facilitators to successful weight management. This paper has implications for the role of primary and community care staff in the prevention, treatment and management of obesity, in terms of supporting patients through significant life events and encouraging them to access services.
|British Journal of Community Nursing
|Published - Nov 2009