Ms Alison Qvist1, Dr Danielle Hitch1
1Western Health, Footscray, Australia
Background: Two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, with an increased risk of associated comorbidities. The proportion of patients admitted to hospital with comorbid obesity is increasing, incurring mounting challenges for healthcare delivery. Nationally and internationally, obese patients have been reported to experience inadequate quality of care, increased length of stay and adverse events such as pneumonia, infection, falls, and pressure injuries leading to increased cost of care. The challenges associated with providing this cohort with safe, satisfactory care in a way that maintains their dignity have therefore been recognised. The aim of this study was to better understand perceptions and experiences of leadership and management clinicians in providing health care for inpatients with obesity.
Method: A qualitative approach is being undertaken, aiming to sample 6-10 leaders and managers in an inpatient health care service. Interpretative phenomenological analysis will be use to understand their perceptions around best care.
Results: This study has low risk ethics approval, and interviews are currently underway. Preliminary analysis indicates the domains of physical environment, psychosocial wellbeing and technical complexity of care being the main barriers to delivering care to this population. Analysis will be completed and full results of the study will be available for detailed presentation at this conference.
Discussion: The perspectives of leaders and managers are crucial to understanding both the current and future practice context in regards to the care of people with obesity. A broader project using experience-based co-design to develop a model of care for patients with obesity is planned. This project will also explore the perspectives of healthcare professionals and people with obesity using the service, and the findings of the study described here will also contribute to this model.
Alison Qvist is a Health Information Officer – Allied Health at Western Health