Obesity is a significant health risk for people of all ages. There is an additional hazard for patients over 40 years of age who may not be physically active or follow outdated weight loss advice. It is crucial to ensure that such patients follow an appropriate nutritional regime and combine it with physical exercise. For the examination of the presented healthcare problem, the following PICOT question was formulated: In patients 40-60 years old diagnosed with obesity, does diet and physical plans modifications compared with diet management reduce patient weight and improve healthy lifestyles in 6 months? This essay aims to analyze two qualitative research studies to provide background and support for the chosen PICOT question.
Two qualitative articles were selected for this essay, both focusing on the problem of the level of engagement that patients show with weight loss and maintenance interventions. They also focus on the perceived effectiveness of the programs, as reported by the participants. The study by McGill et al. (2020) concentrated on the experiences of people who took part in a long-term weight maintenance program. The program described in the research included both dietary advice and support and recommendations for physical exercise (McGill et al., 2020). The main goal of the study was to establish whether weight loss and maintenance courses are effective and how the participants account for their involvement in the program (McGill et al., 2020). The objective was to collect interview data from those who took part in the program and determine common trends in their experience with it.
Similarly, the earlier research by Holdsworth et al. (2016) examined the experiences of patients with a one-to-one intervention designed for the study. The main goal was to establish the participants’ view of the program they attended during the randomized controlled trial and what aspects of it they found useful. The objective was to collect the information via interviews with some of the participants from the trial. The interviewees were recruited from the randomized control trial with a focus group formed from those who had achieved their weight loss goal. Overall, both the selected studies are significant to nursing as understanding the patients’ experience with weight loss programs can help provide them with better care and support.
Supporting the Nursing Practice Issue
The two articles will help answer the formulated PICOT question. Specifically, they will contribute to establishing whether diet and physical activity alterations can contribute to weight loss and lifestyle improvement in obese adults. Patients’ views of the weight loss programs they are undergoing are a significant predictor of their adherence. If the participants are not finding such programs useful, they are more likely to drop out and return to unhealthy lifestyles that could have contributed to their obesity.
The interventions conducted by the selected studies are similar to the one proposed in the PICOT question. The one in the research undertaken by McGill et al. (2020) focused on portion control, changes to eating habits, and physical exercise. Additionally, participants were provided with healthy recipes, a list of replacement products, and other educational materials (McGill et al., 2020). No comparisons groups were used in the weight maintenance program or the follow-up research on the partakers’ experience. The study by Holdsworth et al. (2016) provided a comparable intervention. Participants were offered one-to-one sessions with an advisor who helped them create personal nutritional and exercise plans to be followed for 12 months (Holdsworth et al., 2016). There were no comparison groups in the intervention; however, the follow-up qualitative study included a focus group of participants who achieved their 5% weight loss goal (Holdsworth et al., 2016). Unlike the given PICOT question, the two studies did not focus on discussing weight loss and life improvement in obese people with diet management and no physical plans modifications.
The articles selected for this essay employed similar study methods. McGill et al. (2020) used an interview method to collect the data for their research. Semi-structured interviews conducted over the phone were employed by the authors (McGill et al., 2020). Holdsworth et al. (2016) also used semi-structured interviews to gather information, but they were conducted face-to-face. Although semi-structured interviews are useful in collecting qualitative data, there are certain drawbacks. A considerable limitation of the method is the overreliance on the participants’ recollections and their accuracy and truthfulness. Semi-structured interviews held over the phone also limit the researchers’ ability to collect data. Unlike in face-to-face meetings, they cannot take interviewees’ behavior and body language into account. The main advantage of the selected study method is the ability to collect in-depth data on weight loss and maintenance.
Results of Study
The semi-structured interviews provided compelling findings on the participants’ view of weight loss and maintenance programs that included nutritional and physical exercise advice. According to McGill et al. (2020), participants of the long-term weight maintenance programs expressed conflicting opinions. The study found that the program’s structure allowed many participants to achieve their individual weight loss goals (McGill et al., 2020). However, many of them expressed concern about being unable to follow the given structure independently and without further assistance from healthcare specialists (McGill et al., 2020). Similarly, Holdsworth et al. (2016) concluded that providing the participants with an empathetic and experienced counselor who helped them adhere to the new dietary plan and exercise regime was key to improving their lifestyle. Thus, consistent structure and support play a substantial role in the patients’ ability to follow the new lifestyle and achieve noticeable results in weight loss and maintenance.
Overall, the selected research studies show that obese and overweight adults can reduce weight and improve their lifestyles by keeping to a healthy diet and exercising regularly. However, the research on such patients requires consistency and emotional support from health care professionals. Specifically, obese adults enrolled in a weight loss program that involves a notable change in lifestyle need a strict system that will not allow for deviations from the new lifestyle. Additionally, nurse practitioners working with these patients should take into account their psychological well-being. External stressors can lead to patients eating unhealthily and missing scheduled exercise sessions. To ensure that patients observe the limitations of the weight loss program, additional one-to-one or group counseling sessions should be considered.
Every medical study must consider several ethical areas to guarantee the protection of the human subjects of the research. These areas include informed consent, voluntary basis participation, and assurance of confidentiality. In the two articles in question, the privacy of the patients was observed, no personal information was provided, and the collected data was given in the summary form. The authors of both studies received the approval of relevant Ethics Committees.
In conclusion, obesity is a substantial health problem and can affect people of any age. Patients over the age of 40 can reduce their weight and maintain it at a healthy level by following a nutritional plan and exercising regularly. The research shows that to achieve that, the offered weight loss program should be consistent and should account for the effect participants’ emotional well-being can have on their adherence to a healthy lifestyle.
Holdsworth, E., Thorogood, N., Sorhaindo, A., & Nanchahal, K. (2016). A qualitative study of participant engagement with a weight loss intervention. Health Promotion Practice, 18(2), 245-252. Web.
McGill, B., O’Hara, B. J., Phongsavan, P., Bauman, A., Lawler, L., & Grunseit, A. C. (2020). “I’m still on track”: A qualitative exploration of participant experiences of a weight loss maintenance program. Healthcare, 8(1), 21. Web.