Experiences of a commercial weight-loss programme after primary care referral: a qualitative study.
The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 2015 ; 65: e248-55.
Allen JT, Cohn SR, and Ahern AL
DOI : 10.3399/bjgp15X684409
PubMed ID : 25824185
PMCID : PMC4377618
Referral to a commercial weight-loss programme is a cost-effective intervention that is already used within the NHS. Qualitative research suggests this community-based, non-medical intervention accords with participants' view of weight management as a lifestyle issue.
To examine the ways in which participants' attitudes and beliefs about accessing a commercial weight management programme via their doctor relate to their weight-loss experience, and to understand how these contextual factors influence motivation and adherence to the intervention.
A qualitative study embedded in a randomised controlled trial evaluating primary care referral to a commercial weight-loss programme in adults who are overweight or obese in England. The study took place from June-September 2013.
Twenty-nine participants (body mass index [BMI] ≥28 kg/m(2); age ≥18 years), who took part in the WRAP (Weight Loss Referrals for Adults in Primary Care) trial, were recruited at their 3-month assessment appointment to participate in a semi-structured interview about their experience of the intervention and weight management more generally. Interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed inductively using a narrative approach.
Although participants view the lifestyle-based, non-medical commercial programme as an appropriate intervention for weight management, the referral from the GP and subsequent clinical assessments frame their experience of the intervention as medically pertinent with clear health benefits.
Referral by the GP and follow-up assessment appointments were integral to participant experiences of the intervention, and could be adapted for use in general practice potentially to augment treatment effects.