Strategies related to five vital components in an occupational therapy weight loss program obtained through research circles

Christina Jessen-Winge, Signe Surrow, Kim Lee, Anette Enemark Larsen, Jeanette Reffstrup Christensen

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalAbstractResearchpeer-review


Living with overweight or obesity is a challenge as it effects health and everyday life. In Denmark, weight loss programmes offered in municipalities contain mostly diet and exercise on an individual level. Maintaining lost weight is challenging. It has been shown that occupational therapists have a role to play because of their holistic approach on the interaction of person, environment and occupations. This is supported in studies regarding an occupational therapy weight loss programme DO:IT (Danish Obesity Intervention Trial) identifying that the components diet, and exercise should be supplemented with social relations, habits and occupational balance.

Objective: To perceive strategies to support the components diet, physical activity, social relations, habits and occupational balance in an occupational therapy weight loss programme.

Method: A qualitative participatory design by research circle methodology was applied. Fourteen participants who were either obese, occupational therapists or researchers were included in the research circle. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Strategies for each component were identified.
Diet: Awareness of pattern surrounding food and use of multiple senses.
Exercise: Small victories by taking one step at a time and doing physical activities focusing on values.
Social relations: Self-confidence to stand strong, and common ground in the changing process.
Habits: Highlighting resources instead of bad habits and actions.
Occupational balance: Changeable meaning and variation in daily life.

Conclusion: The strategies related to the five components should support the weight loss process for people with obesity in achieving wellbeing, quality of life and sustainable weight loss.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 May 2022
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022
EventWorld Federation of Occupational Therapy: Occupational R-Evolution - Paris, France
Duration: 27 Mar 202230 Mar 2022
Conference number: 18


ConferenceWorld Federation of Occupational Therapy
Internet address


  • health, nutrition and quality of life

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