Table 4

Primary care physician's perspectives on solutions for improving obesity care, overall and by years since completing medical school, N (%)

Years since completing medical school
Overall N=313<20 N=16120+N=152p Value
Physician training to improve obesity care
 Helpfulness of physician training in…*
  Nutrition counselling290 (93)156 (97)134 (88)0.04
  Exercise counseling290 (92)154 (96)135 (89)0.09
  Patient care after bariatric surgery282 (90)144 (89)137 (90)0.81
  Motivational interviewing 270 (86)143 (88)127 (84)0.37
  Patient eligibility for bariatric surgery266 (85)136 (84)130 (85)0.88
  Weight loss medications202 (64)110 (68)92 (60)0.24
Practice-based changes to improve obesity care
 Helpfulness of…
  Including BMI as a fifth vital sign466 (93)256 (92)210 (95)0.32
  Including specific diet or exercise tips in patient chart446 (89)250 (90)196 (88)0.53
  Having scales report BMI423 (85)224 (81)198 (89)0.02
  Adding BMI to patient chart†344 (69)193 (69)151 (68)0.70
 Medical equipment in office is appropriate for obese patients (eg, gowns, chairs, exam tables and blood pressure cuffs)‡460 (92)253 (91)207 (93)0.53
  • Source: Survey of General Practitioners, Family Practitioners and General Internists between 9 February and 1 March 2011.

  • *Questions about the helpfulness of various forms of obesity training were only asked among those physicians who reported receiving some training. Percentages represent physicians reporting training is very or somewhat helpful.

  • †20% of the sample (100 respondents) reported that this feature is already available in the medical chart.

  • ‡Percentages represent physicians reporting very/somewhat appropriate.

  • Note: The 8% of physicians who said that medical equipment for obese patients was not appropriate were also asked to rate how important it was to improve the equipment. More than 85% of these physicians said this was an important goal for gowns, chairs, exam tables and blood pressure cuffs.

  • BMI, body mass index.