Annals of Internal Medicine Original Research Article

Annals of Internal Medicine, November 2023

A mixed-methods cohort study of 284 patients with obesity seen by 87 general practitioners at 38 primary care clinics in England.

What’s Interesting about this article?

  • Researchers used conversation analysis of recorded discussions between clinicians and patients regarding referral to a 12-week behavioral weight management program.
  • Three interactional approaches were identified – “good news” related to the opportunity for treatment; “bad news” based on the harms of obesity; and neutral use of language. The primary outcome was patient weight loss at 12 months.
  • This study found that presenting weight loss treatment as a positive opportunity was associated with greater uptake of treatment and greater weight loss.

JournalDoc Comments:

  • Effective weight loss interventions are needed to prevent people with obesity from developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other adverse outcomes.
  • An accompanying editorial by Christina C. Wee, M.D. and John E. Cornell comments on the importance of the language used by clinicians in making recommendations for treatment, and that the new arrival of behavioral, pharmaceutical, and surgical options gives us reason to be optimistic about positive outcomes.
  • Data were audio only, so body language and nonverbal cues could not be assessed.


Disclaimer: Article of the Week selections by JournalDoc physicians are independent, unbiased and have no commercial conflict of interest. JournalDoc does not support or endorse the findings or opinions expressed in the article. Findings in the article may need to be supported by further research and/or the consensus of experts.