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Characteristics of patients seeking a health promotion and weight reduction program in primary care

Authors Bräutigam Ewe M, Lydell M, Bergh H, Hildingh C, Baigi A, Månsson J

Received 20 November 2018

Accepted for publication 4 February 2019

Published 11 April 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 235—242


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Marie Bräutigam Ewe,1 Marie Lydell,2 Håkan Bergh,1,3 Cathrine Hildingh,2 Amir Baigi,1,3 Jörgen Månsson1

1Department of Public Health and Community Medicine/Primary Health Care, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; 2CVHI-Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport, School of Health and Welfare, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden; 3Research and Development Unit Halland, Region of Halland, Halmstad, Sweden

Purpose: An important task in primary health care (PHC) is to address lifestyle-related diseases. Overweight (OW) individuals make up a large proportion of PHC patients, and they increasingly have lifestyle-related illnesses that influence their quality of life. Structured health promotion and weight reduction programs could help these patients. The objective of this study was to explore the characteristics, lifestyle habits, and health conditions of individuals seeking a health promotion and weight reduction program in PHC.
Patients and methods: The study involved a comparative cross-sectional design performed in PHC in southwestern Sweden. The study population comprised 286 participants (231 women, aged 40–65 years, body mass index [BMI] 28–35 kg/m2) who were recruited between March 2011 and April 2014 to the 2-year program by adverts in local newspapers and recruitment from three PHC centers. Two reference populations were used: a general population group and an OW group. The study population data were collected using a questionnaire, with validated questions regarding health, lifestyle, illnesses, and health care utilization.
Results: People seeking a health promotion and weight reduction program were mostly women. They had a higher education level and experienced worse general health than the OW population, and they visited PHC more frequently than both reference groups. They also felt more stressed, humiliated, had more body pain, and smoked less compared to the general population. However, they did not exercise less or had a lower intake of fruits and vegetables than either reference population.
Conclusion: Individuals seeking a weight reduction program were mostly women with a higher education level and a worse general health than the OW population. They used more health care services compared to the reference groups.

Keywords: lifestyle, overweight, primary health care, weight loss

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