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PCDS news: Obesity survey results

Key insights from the PCDS survey on obesity management, conducted in April 2024.

Thank you

We recognise that those of us delivering diabetes care will likely be leading the way in terms of managing obesity, and so we offer our heartfelt thanks to all those PCDS members who took time to complete our survey on obesity in primary care. The excellent response rate has helped us gather robust data on the knowledge and educational needs of primary care professionals, and the challenges they face when supporting weight management.

Key insights

●  Perhaps unsurprisingly given our members’ expertise in type 2 diabetes management, most respondents felt at least moderately confident in discussing, assessing and managing obesity, with 53% responding that they were somewhat confident and 29% responding that they were very or extremely confident.

●  Respondents were for the most part comfortable with starting conversations about weight, with only 18% expressing low confidence. Forty-nine percent would initiate a conversation about weight in most or all of their general consultations with a person living with overweight or obesity.

●  Respondents were largely confident with assessing the physical health conditions associated with obesity, with only 14% expressing low confidence, while they were less certain about the assessment of psychological complications (33% expressed low confidence).

●  Significant numbers were uncertain of their local referral pathways for weight management (39%).

●  Availability of options in primary care and time constraints were the most commonly perceived barriers to managing obesity in primary care (see Figure 1).

●  Despite the high level of confidence in general, 91% of respondents believed they would benefit from additional education and training in obesity management, particularly with regard to dietary advice, assessing psychological conditions and the array of new weight loss treatments (see Figure 2).

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