Arrange follow-up appointments to support progress
When supporting your patients with weight management, it is important to arrange follow-up appointments to reflect on and measure their ongoing progress.
Depending on how the follow-ups are arranged, these appointments can be either motivating or demotivating for patients. If weight isn’t a metric that you have agreed to measure, asking them to ‘weigh in’ can lead to an approval/disapproval cycle which undermines collaboration and trust.
In contrast, if you arrange the follow-ups to ‘touch base’ on their experience and progress, it communicates that the journey will be shared without judgement. And if your patients feel comfortable, they will be more likely to discuss their problematic areas.
It is also important to provide follow-up appointments that are consistent with repetition and relevance to support the development of self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation.
During follow-up appointments, you can encourage your patients to continue working towards their goals by sharing the healthy lifestyle programs and resources outlined below.
Programs to help facilitate health behaviour change
The Change ProgramA two-year general practice delivered weight management program for adults in primary care. The Change Program includes access to a free ‘toolkit’, including a patient handbook and GP handbook.
Fremantle Healthy Eating Hub – by Foodbank WAAttend the Healthy Eating Hub in Fremantle, to learn about healthy eating and cooking in a fun and social environment. Receive lots of free resources, and prepare tasty food.
Transformation Support Community – by Weight Management PsychologyAn online member-only support group led by psychologist, Glenn Mackintosh for people who want close support with transforming their eating, physical activity, weight and body image!
HEAL Program – City of CockburnAvailable as both a group program (in person) or online, the Healthy Eating, Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL™) program helps adults of all ages and fitness levels develop lifelong healthy lifestyle habits.
Healthy Lifestyle Programs for Aboriginal peopleEast Metropolitan Health Service’s Healthy Lifestyle Programs are culturally adapted to suit the needs of the Aboriginal community and are delivered by trained Aboriginal staff members.
Additional Support & Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients
- Refer to available support services such as Integrated Team Care (ITC) for Aboriginal patients with a chronic condition and general practitioner management plan (GPMP). Also see the WAPHA ITC Pamphlet.
- Provide culturally appropriate patient resources and information about support services, including Aboriginal-specific healthy lifestyle, diabetes management.
- If you are in a country region, consider referral to the Integrated Chronic Disease Care (ICDC) ICDC is a fully subsidised allied health service, where health professionals travel to remote areas to coordinate care and support patients to manage their chronic conditions. Teams will also coordinate and link patients to relevant telehealth services.
- View the Healthy Lifestyle Support pathway on the HealthPathways website, which includes specific services for Aboriginal people in North Metro, South Metro and the Pilbara.
- View the Aboriginal Health Initiatives pathway on the HealthPathways website. The most relevant initiatives covered in the pathway include Integrated Team Care, Health Assessment for Aboriginal people (and linked allied health) and Closing the Gap (CTG) PBS Co-Payment Program (accessible meds).
- To register for HealthPathways login details, submit the online form or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other resources you may find useful for your patients
Heart Foundation Personal Walking Plans
Feel healthier and happier in six weeks!
University of Newcastle ‘No Money No Time’ – Healthy Easy Recipes
Search over 100 recipes tailored to your budget, preferences and personal goals.
My Community Directory
Link your patients to healthy lifestyle services in their area.
Deadly Tucker Cookbook
Download this cookbook for simple recipes, each with step by step photos and text to create delicious healthy snacks and meals.
Image credits: © Obesity Canada, © Foodbank WA, © Weight Management Psychology, © WA Health