Exploring lifestyle advice on healthy living given to obese patients by their obese doctors

Oguns, Taiye Kemi (2014-03)

Thesis (MMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: Objective: The lifestyle choices of doctors can impact on their health promotion activities thereby influencing the health outcome of their patients. Doctors are a relevant source of information for patients about the health implications of lifestyle. This study was designed to explore and describe the lifestyle choices of obese doctors and also relate their lifestyle choices to the advice they give their obese patients. Study Design: A qualitative research study using in depth interview of 10 obese doctors in the Fraser Coast district of Queensland, Australia. From a local database, the names and contact information of all doctors in the district was obtained and a data sheet was sent to them to obtain information on their height, weight, age and gender. The BMI was calculated using weight (kg)/ height x height (m)2 and of those who fell into the category of BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, 10 were systematically selected and interviewed. These in-depth interviews were audio recorded. Participants: The study group comprised of ten obese doctors systematically selected from an initial 15 respondents who fell into the obese category. Each of them volunteered information about their lifestyle activities and their counselling advices as well as expressed their perception of patients’ outcomes. Main outcome measures: Lifestyle of the doctors, content of lifestyle advices, confidence with patient counselling and the opinion of doctors on using themselves as example with respect to lifestyle Results: The lifestyle of most obese doctors is not completely healthy. They also engage in unhealthy lifestyle activities including high intake of alcohol and fizzy drinks, unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise which is attributed to their busy schedule. Their lifestyle choices are not healthy although they were all confident in counselling their patients and reported positive outcome with many patients. The doctors however believe they can better motivate their patients to make conscious effort to live healthier if they adopt a healthier lifestyle Conclusion: Obese doctors are confident in counselling obese patients about lifestyle modification and most of them will use themselves as examples in an attempt to motivate their patients.

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