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      The role of the family doctor in the management of adults who are obese: a scoping review protocol

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          The role of family doctors in the management of obesity in primary care will become increasingly important as more of the adult population become overweight or obese. Having a solid understanding of the family doctor’s role as a sole practitioner is important for supporting practitioners in providing patient care and for informing future research.


          The purpose of this paper is to describe a protocol for a scoping review that aims to examine and map the current research base for the role of the family doctor in managing adults who are overweight or obese.


          This scoping review is based on the methodology as described by the Joanna Briggs Institute which involves final consultation with stakeholders. Two reviewers (ES, NE) will be responsible for the iterative development of a search strategy based on the basic initial search terms obesity, doctor and primary care. Black and grey literature will be searched to elucidate any manuscripts involving the family doctor in the management of adults who are overweight or obese. A customised data extraction tool will be used to collect relevant items from each manuscript.


          Data extraction will expose the role family doctors are playing in obesity management in all stages of research including recruitment, intervention or as a control group. By looking at a broad scope of manuscripts we will discover the family doctor’s role as portrayed in research, in international guidelines and by peak bodies. We will also determine if there are any gaps in the research base.


          This protocol describes a scoping review that will illustrate the supporting international research for the role family doctors are playing in the management of adults who are overweight or obese. Scoping of the international literature will then be translated for Australian primary care.

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              Treatment of obesity in primary care practice in the United States: a systematic review.

               Adam Tsai,  T A Wadden (2009)
              This review examines the results of randomized controlled trials in which behavioral weight loss interventions, used alone or with pharmacotherapy, were provided in primary care settings. Literature search of MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Systematic Reviews, CINAHL, and EMBASE (1950-present). Inclusion criteria for studies were: (1) randomized trial, (2) obesity intervention in US adults, and (3) conducted in primary care or explicitly intended to model a primary care setting. Both authors reviewed each study to extract treatment modality, provider, setting, weight change, and attrition. The CONSORT criteria were used to assess study quality. Due to the small number and heterogeneity of studies, results were summarized but not pooled quantitatively. Ten trials met the inclusion criteria. Studies were classified as: (1) PCP counseling alone, (2) PCP counseling + pharmacotherapy, and (3) "collaborative" obesity care (treatment delivered by a non-physician provider). Weight losses in the active treatment arms of these categories of studies ranged from 0.1 to 2.3 kg, 1.7 to 7.5 kg, and 0.4 to 7.7 kg, respectively. Most studies provided low- or moderate-intensity counseling, as defined by the US Preventive Services Task Force. Current evidence does not support the use of low- to moderate-intensity physician counseling for obesity, by itself, to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss. PCP counseling plus pharmacotherapy, or intensive counseling (from a dietitian or nurse) plus meal replacements may help patients achieve this goal. Further research is needed on different models of managing obesity in primary care practice.

                Author and article information

                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                30 December 2015
                30 December 2015
                : 4
                [ ]Academic Unit of General Practice, Australian National University Medical School, Canberra, Australia
                [ ]Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                [ ]Primary Health Care Research, Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Research School of Population Health, ANU College of Medicine, Canberra, Australia
                [ ]National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH), Research School of Population Health, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
                [ ]Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, Centre for Obesity Management and Prevention Research Excellence in Primary Health Care (COMPaRE-PHC), UNSW, Sydney, Australia
                © Sturgiss et al. 2015

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funded by: FundRef, Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, Australian National University;
                Award ID: APHCRI Foundation Grant
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                © The Author(s) 2015


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