Losing weight is perceived as a process which one must do on their own, but according to a study conducted by researchers from John’s Hopkins people can lose weight more efficiently if they are helped by a doctor. This should come as no surprise since doctors are usually the ones which help us with a lot of health problems. The paper was published in the journal Patient Education and Counseling.
The team led by primary care physician Wendy L. Bennett analyzed data gathered from a randomized controlled study that lasted for two years and is known as Johns Hopkins’ Practice-based Opportunities for Weight Reduction trial. The study was funded by the federal government. Based on this data the scientists analyzed the way in which the relationship between patient and doctors could influence weight loss efforts.
The study involved a number of obese patients who were helped by health coaches in order to lose weight. During this time they were monitored by their primary care physicians. After the trial finished the participants were required to answer surveys which included questions regarding their relationship with their physicians such as how helpful the involvement of the physician was during the training, if they listened carefully and showed respect and if they explained things clearly enough.
In spite of the fact that overall weight loss rates were modest those participants who said that the primary care physician’s support was particularly helpful lost twice as many pounds as those who did not consider the physician’s support as helpful. On average participants who rated physicians higher for their help lost six pounds more than those who rated them lower.
Dr. Wendy L. Bennett commented on the findings of the study saying the following:
Quality patient-doctor relationship marked by good communication, empathy, collaboration, and trust is linked to better adherence to doctoral advice, medication schedules, and appointment keeping. This trial supports other evidence that providers are very important in their patients’ weight loss efforts. Incorporating physicians into future programs might lead patients to more successful weight loss.”
Researchers are hopeful that these findings could help develop weight loss programs that are more focused on primary care physicians.
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