Treatment of obese patients requires effective communication
as related to this picture are the increase of energy supply by diet and reduction of physical activity, forming a "contemporary Western lifestyle". However, notwithstanding the physical morbidities, there is a hidden one: the lack of support and judgment with which many still treat people who strive to lose weight.
The patient often finds himself in the situation where the only answer he finds is that obesity is at the root of all your problems. Dr. Rebecca Puhl of Yale University and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, showed patient complaints about comments in her calls: "you need to learn to stay away from the table," or, comment aloud, while the patient was in the waiting room: "if these people had any will power, they would not be here."
In this research, obese patients very often felt stigmatized in health services and were more likely to avoid care and when they did, they could receive committed assistance. Thus, they would be vulnerable to depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and therefore less likely to be motivated to adopt lifestyle changes, engaging in unhealthy eating patterns and avoiding physical activity, thereby aggravating
Do I need to make assumptions about the character, intelligence, health, lifestyle, or behaviors of someone based solely on body weight?
Simply put, inadvertently ostensive communication or subtle forms of prejudice that negatively affect the patients should be recognized as serious and professionals should be aware of their clinical practice. But, not only in the clinics do we see these situations, more and more, in supermarkets, buses, cinemas, there are biased looks that always point to being overweight. Strategies that stimulate good interaction and weight loss.
It is essential to recognize personal attitudes and assumptions about the body weight of others, which can lead to prejudices or stigma. Ask yourself:
- Do I need to make assumptions about one's character, intelligence, health, lifestyle, or behavior based on body weight?
- Am I comfortable working / interacting with people of all sizes?
- What kind of feedback do I give to my known / obese patients?
- Am I sensitive to the needs and concerns of obese patients?
- What are the common stereotypes about obese people? Do I believe these are true or false? What are my reasons for these beliefs?
Adopting effective communication is the key to delivering quality health care. This may be especially important in obese patients, especially those who have experienced negative interactions with other professionals. It is important to address conversations about body weight and obesity in a sensitive way.
It may be difficult to discuss health issues related to overweight, but it should be clear that all technical terminology used does not offend anyone. For the conversation to flow, the patient should feel comfortable with the terms used. Interactive approaches and empathic listening style increase confidence, emphasizing the discrepancy between personal goals and current health behaviors.
Open questions, without judgments, support and bring the people involved closer together:
Do you feel ready to change your eating habits and / or lifestyle behaviors?
- What kind of things did you do in the past to change your eating habits?
- What strategies have worked for you in the past?
- What kind of things did you do in the past to change your eating habits? - On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you be prepared to make changes in your eating habits?
Responding to these questions, the understanding of patients is clearer and they become agents in the decisions that affect their health. Treatment should also be free from prejudice. This means recognizing that obesity is the product of many factors - a complex interaction of genetic, biological, social, environmental and psychological contributors. Similarly, it is important to explore all the causes before assuming that body weight is the only target for intervention.
In setting the goals for treatment, the emphasis is on behavioral changes, not just on weight reduction in balance. Setting specific, realistic, measurable goals with respect to eating habits and allying them to physical activities increases the likelihood of success and shows the importance of health rather than thinness. Finally, we must discuss the benefits of weight loss. which, even small, can result in a considerable improvement in health. Few of the very obese patients achieve "ideal" weight, but many may experience significant gains in health, with a reduction of 5% or 10% in their weight.
Provide support and not only, weight management, guarantor dignity and respect in a service devoid of prejudiced attitudes. Sensitive and compassionate care creates health-giving experiences that instill hope rather than shame in this vulnerable patient population.
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