Informing the development and uptake of a weight management intervention for preconception: a mixed-methods investigation of patient and provider perceptions
Harden, Samantha M.
Ramalingam, NithyaPriya S.
Wilson, Kathryn E.
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Background It is recommended for women to have a healthy body mass index before conception. However, there is limited research on appropriate preconception interventions for weight loss. Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge on providers’ willingness to refer to particular behavioral interventions and the degree to which patients would attend those interventions. Methods A cross-section of 67 patients and 21 providers completed surveys related to their demographics and willingness to refer/attend a number of interventions for weight loss. A case study of three patients from the target audience was used to elicit detailed feedback on preconception weight status and weight loss intervention. Results Overall, patients were willing to attend a variety of interventions, regardless of BMI category. Focus group participants shared that weight loss prior to conception would be beneficial for them and their child, but cited barriers such as time, location, and the way providers encourage weight loss. Providers were willing to refer to a number of behavioral interventions, and were less willing to prescribe weight loss medications than other intervention options. Conclusions A number of intervention strategies may be well received by both patients and providers in preconception care to assist with weight loss prior to conception. Future research is needed on intervention effects and sustainability.