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Exploring community nurses' views on the implementation of a local Weight Management Pathway

02 December 2022
Volume 27 · Issue 12


This research explores the views of community nurses on the implementation of a local Weight Management Pathway (WMP). WMP's are a recognised tool used to reduce levels of excess weight and obesity and are recommended by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), yet locally there is no WMP in place. A qualitative interpretative phenomenological approach was employed and a focus group of community nursing staff was conducted. The data was then thematically analysed with the use of the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Participants acknowledged the lack of a current WMP, the potential benefits of a local WMP as well as the need for training in the use of the tool. They also identified potential barriers to its implementation such as the sensitivity of the subject, a lack of staff knowledge, patient's willingness to change and communication systems.

The WHO (2021) reports that in 2016, 1.9 billion adults were overweight, with 650 million adults classed as obese worldwide. In the UK, 64.2% of adults are overweight, with 28% of these classed as obese (Baker, 2022). Locally, the population statistics are lower than that of the UK, with the amount of overweight or obese adults being 61.1% (Isle of Man Director of Public Health, 2017). Yet, this remains a high percentage given that excess weight is a major risk factor for diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer (Department of Health (DoH), 2011), as well as increasing a person's mortality risk from COVID-19 by 33% (Public Health England (PHE), 2020).

Various organisations including PHE (2017), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) (2015) and the Department of Health and Social Care (2020) highlight the importance of preventing and reducing excess weight. Other sources such as the National Obesity Forum (2005), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2018) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) (2012) recognise the importance of community nurses providing public health advice to patients.

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