Will occupational therapist play a new role as the bridge between other health professionals and obese individual in the fight to break the obesity curve?

Christina Jessen-Winge, Carl J. Brandt, Anette Enemark Larsen, Signe Surrow, Pia Ilvig, Kim Lee, Jeanette Reffstrup Christensen

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


Obesity rates has increased the last 30 years despite a wide range of weight-loss initiatives. Occupational therapists are repeatedly being mentioned as a new interdisciplinary party in the scientific litterature, as occupational therapists are educated to uncover individual’s personal goals, and to lead the way to success by the means of doing and meaningful activities and striving for increased quality of life. But are other health professionals not equally able to match patients’ wishes? And can it be part of the explanation to why weight-loss initiatives haven’t worked?
To examine if health professionals, who deliver weight-loss initiatives and individuals with obesity, trying to lose weight, are aligned in what should be in focus in weight-loss initiatives.
Eighty-two interviews with individuals with obesity and health professionals (equally divided) were carried out and analysed using content analysis.
Both groups found that social support from close networks and peers was fundamental for a successful weight-loss, however only 20% of the health professionals included the close networks when leading weight-loss initiatives. Also, the individuals with obesity underpinned the importance of including meaningful activities in everyday life, which was not a focus by the health professionals.
The discrepancy between what individuals with obesity express they need when trying to lose weight, and health professionals’ focus when delivering weight-loss initiatives are evident. Occupational therapists may fulfil the role as the bridge between other health professionals and obese individuals to tailor and adapt weight-loss initiatives to individuals’ trying to lose weight.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 May 2022
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022
Event18th WFOT Congress: Occupational R-Evolution - Paris, France
Duration: 28 Aug 202231 Aug 2022
Conference number: 18


Conference18th WFOT Congress
Internet address

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