Is the Counterweight Program a feasible and acceptable option for structured weight management delivered by practice nurses in Australia? A mixed-methods study

Jodi Gray, Elizabeth A. Hoon, Hossein Haji Ali Afzali, Catherine Spooner, Mark F. Harris, Jonathan Karnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Nurse-led weight management programs, like the Counterweight Program in the United Kingdom, may offer a way for Australian general practices to provide weight management support to adults who are overweight or obese. During Counterweight, nurses provide patients with six fortnightly education sessions and three follow-up sessions to support weight maintenance. This study examined the feasibility, acceptability and perceived value of the Counterweight Program in the Australian primary care setting using a mixed-methods approach. Six practice nurses, from three general practices, were trained and subsidised to deliver the program. Of the 65 patients enrolled, 75% (n≤49) completed the six education sessions. General practitioners and practice nurses reported that the training and resource materials were useful, the program fitted into general practices with minimal disruption and the additional workload was manageable. Patients reported that the program created a sense of accountability and provided a safe space to learn about weight management. Overall, Counterweight was perceived as feasible, acceptable and valuable by Australian practice staff and patients. The key challenge for future implementation will be identifying adequate and sustainable funding. An application to publically fund Counterweight under the Medicare Benefits Schedule would require stronger evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-363
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Journal Compilation © La Trobe University 2017 Open Access CC BY-NC-ND

Keywords

  • General practice
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Primary Care
  • general practice
  • overweight
  • primary care.
  • obesity

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