Empathy goes a long way in weight loss discussions.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pollak, KI; Østbye, T; Alexander, SC; Gradison, M; Bastian, LA; Brouwer, RJN; Lyna, P

Published Date

  • December 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1031 - 1036

PubMed ID

  • 18053443

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-7294


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States