Primary Care Patients' Willingness to Participate in Comprehensive Weight Loss Programs: From the WWAMI Region Practice and Research Network

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Abstract

Purpose:

In the United States, 69% of adults are overweight or obese, as defined by a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m2. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening all adult patients for obesity and referring obese patients to intensive, multicomponent behavioral weight loss programs comprising 12 to 26 yearly sessions. The objective of this study is to determine the degree to which overweight and obese primary care patients report willingness to participate in these intensive weight loss programs and to identify the patient factors associated with reported willingness to participate.

Methods:

This 2013 cross-sectional survey was offered to all adult patients seen for an office visit at 1 of 12 primary care clinics in the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) Region Practice and Research Network (WPRN). Patients self-reported both their health information and their willingness to participate in a comprehensive weight loss program. Respondents were characterized by descriptive statistics. We compared reported rates of willingness to participate by patient factors and assessed which patient factors were independently associated with reported willingness using bivariate analysis and logistic regression, respectively.

Results:

Of overweight and obese respondents, 63% reported willingness to participate in comprehensive weight loss programs. Age, sex, race/ethnicity, insurance status, BMI, and reason for wanting to lose weight were all significantly and independently associated with reported willingness to participate.

Conclusions:

Reported willingness to participate in comprehensive weight loss programs suggests that additional resources are needed to understand strategies for disseminating and implementing effective comprehensive weight loss programs.

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