Patients' perceptions of their general practitioner's health and weight influences their perceptions of nutrition and exercise advice received
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INTRODUCTION: General practitioners (GPs) play an important role in the management of patients who are overweight or obese. Previous research suggests that GPs' physical characteristics may influence patients' perceptions of health care received during consultations, mediating the likelihood of patients following health advice provided by GPs. This study aimed to explore patients' perceptions of their GP's health status and its influence on patients' perceptions of healthy eating and exercise advice. METHODS: An interpretive approach to phenomenology underpinned the qualitative inquiry and study design. Twenty-one participants (aged 55.9 ᠶ.5 years; 14 females, 7 males) who had previously received healthy eating and/or exercise advice from a GP participated in an individual semi-structured interview. A constant comparison approach to thematic analysis was conducted. FINDINGS: Participants identified three key indicators of perceived health of their GP. These included the GP's physical appearance, particularly weight status; perceived absence of ill health; and disclosure of a GP's health behaviours. Participants expressed favourable perceptions of the weight status of their GP. Participants expected their GP to be a healthy role model and often, but not always, felt more confident receiving advice from a GP that they perceived as healthy. CONCLUSION: The findings highlight that a GP's perceived health status influences patients' percep촩ons of the health advice received during consultations. These findings provide a foundation for future research that may allow GPs to modify patients' perceptions of their health status in order to facilitate behaviour change in overweight or obese patients.
Journal of Primary Health Care
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Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified