Objective: To understand the beliefs that primary care practitioners (PCPs) and patients with overweight and obesity have about obesity and primary care weight management in Scotland. Setting: Seven National Health Service (NHS) Scotland primary care centres. Participants: A total of 305 patients and 14 PCPs (12 general practitioners; two practice nurses) participated. Design and methodology: A cross-sectional mixed-methods study. PCPs and patients completed questionnaires assessing beliefs about obesity and primary care weight communication and management. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with PCPs to elaborate on questionnaire topics. Quantitative and qualitative data were synthesised to address study objectives. Results: (1) Many patients with overweight and obesity did not accurately perceive their weight or risk of developing weight-related health issues; (2) PCPs and patients reported behavioural factors as the most important cause of obesity, and medical factors as the most important consequence; (3) PCPs perceive their role in weight management as awareness raising and signposting, not prevention or weight monitoring; (4) PCPs identify structural and patient-related factors as barriers to weight communication and management, but not PCP factors. Conclusions: Incongruent and/or inaccurate beliefs held by PCPs and patient may present barriers to effective weight discussion and management in primary care. There is a need to review, standardise and clarify primary care weight management processes in Scotland. Acknowledging a shared responsibility for obesity as a disease may improve outcomes for patients with overweight and obesity.
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- primary care
- qualitative research
- public health
- Obesity Management/methods
- General Practitioners/statistics & numerical data
- Middle Aged
- Case-Control Studies
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Attitude of Health Personnel
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Primary Health Care/organization & administration
- Health Behavior/physiology
- National Health Programs/organization & administration