The frequency of communication about weight between patients and providers in primary care is low despite the tremendous potential to improve health by preventing or treating obesity. Brief interventions with patients to address communication barriers and promote patient-initiated weight discussions may be a key strategy to increasing the frequency with which weight is addressed in primary care. This study tested the feasibility and acceptability of a waiting room-based pamphlet that targeted patient barriers to weight communication in primary care and promoted patient-initiated discussions. Adult participants (N = 60) with overweight or obesity were recruited from a primary care office in Philadelphia. Study flow was tracked and compared to pre-set benchmarks to assess feasibility. Mixed methods were utilized to measure acceptability with patients, physicians, and front desk staff. This study met 3 of 4 feasibility benchmarks. It is likely that without the logistical paperwork required of a research study the feasibility would be even greater. Quantitative and qualitative results demonstrated high participant and physician acceptability. Participants reported appreciating the pamphlet’s tools for how to start a potentially uncomfortable conversation about weight. Physicians reported wanting all patients with obesity to receive the pamphlet and provided feedback about which sections of the pamphlet they found promising. Physicians also reported that time constraints in the appointment limited application of the pamphlet’s topics, despite the usefulness of the pamphlet. Front desk staff had concerns about additional paperwork in the waiting room, but generally found the idea of a pamphlet acceptable. In conclusion, the intervention pamphlet was feasible to deliver in a primary care waiting room and was acceptable to participants, physicians and staff. A brief patient-focused intervention in the waiting room may be a promising format to address patients’ complex needs in obesity management.
- Explain the feasibility of a brief intervention promoting patient-initiated weight discussions in a primary care waiting room.
- Describe the acceptability of the intervention from the patient, physician, and front desk staff perspectives.
- Identify translatable aspects of this intervention format for future projects.