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Beliefs about the causes and solutions to obesity: A comparison of GPs and lay people

Ogden, J and Flanagan, Z (2008) Beliefs about the causes and solutions to obesity: A comparison of GPs and lay people Patient Education and Counseling, 71 (1). pp. 72-78.

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Abstract

Objective To explore general practitioners (GPs’) beliefs about the causes and solutions to obesity, to compare them to those held by a lay sample and to assess the role of beliefs about causes in explaining beliefs about solutions. Methods Questionnaires regarding the causes and solutions to obesity were completed by GPs (n = 73) and a lay sample (n = 311). Results GPs generally believe that obesity is caused by psychological and behavioural factors and are ambivalent about the effectiveness of the majority of available solutions. When compared to a lay population, GPs show a greater endorsement of behavioural, structural, social and psychological causes of obesity whereas the lay population prefer a more biological model of causality. The present study also provides some evidence for the origins of such beliefs about solutions and indicates consistency between GPs’ beliefs about solutions and causes. For example, GPs endorse a medical solution if they believe obesity is caused by biological factors and endorse policy change as a solution if they believe it is caused by social factors. The lay sample did not show such consistency in their beliefs. Conclusions GPs believe that obesity does not belong within the medical domain. They hold a coherent model in terms of beliefs about causes and solutions which may limit their perspective on what constitutes a suitable solution to this ever common problem. Practice implications If GPs are to take responsibility for the management of obesity they should be encouraged either to change their beliefs or to consider whether solutions need always address causality.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Ogden, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Flanagan, ZUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 1 April 2008
Identification Number : 10.1016/j.pec.2007.11.022
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary, Social Sciences - Other Topics, obesity, GPs' beliefs, lay beliefs, solutions, causes, PRIMARY-CARE PHYSICIANS, GENERAL-PRACTITIONERS, ILLNESS PERCEPTIONS, MANAGING OBESITY, MANAGEMENT, ATTITUDES, QUESTIONNAIRE, PREVALENCE, MEDICATION, OVERWEIGHT
Related URLs :
Additional Information : NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Patient Education and Counseling. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Patient Education and Counseling, 71(1), 2008. DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2007.11.022
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 Jan 2013 17:09
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:41
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/732553

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