Poster Presentation Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society 2014 Annual Scientific Meeting

Treating overweight and obese adults in General Practice – a systematic review (#167)

Elizabeth A Sturgiss 1 , Kirsty Douglas 1 , Sonia Res 1 , Alex Stevenson 1 , Rebecca Kathage 1
  1. Academic Unit of General Practice, ANU Medical School, Woden, ACT, Australia

Introduction:  Obesity is arguably the single most important health issue facing modern primary care.  General Practitioners are on the front line caring for patients with this health issue along with the multitude of health impacts that it brings.   On average Australians attend their GP 2-7 times a year and patients report high rates of feeling respected and listened to by GPs.  Despite this and the acknowledged positive effect of GP involvement in health prevention current obesity management strategies require referral outside the GP environment. This project was developed to identify and understand the evidence around GP delivered interventions for obesity.

Methods:  A systematic review with the following inclusion criteria: RCTs, adults, BMI over 25 and a weight loss program delivered by a Primary Care doctor in a Primary Care setting.  The primary outcome was BMI measured at 2 years with reporting of adverse outcomes. We used Pubmed, PsycInfo and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.

Results:  There is almost no research on strategies delivered by General Practitioners – we identified one International study, and no Australian data. 

Conclusion:  We will reflect upon why there is so little research on GP delivered strategies for obesity treatment.

  1. Overweight and obesity. 2013, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:
  2. Healthy communities: Australians' experiences with primary health care in 2010-11. 2013, National Health Performance Authority.
  3. General Practitioners, in Patient experiences in Australia: summary of findings 2012-13. 2013, Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra.
  4. Martin, P., et al., A primary care weight management intervention for low-income African-American women. Obesity, 2006. 14(8): p. 1412-20.