Locus of control, self-efficacy and attribution tendencies in obese patients – implications for primary care consultations
Ulrike Sonntag, Tobias Esch, Lynn von Hagen, Babette Renneberg, Vittoria Braun, Christoph Heintze
Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(7): CR330-335
Available online: 2010-06-25
Background: To examine health- related locus of control, self- efficacy and attribution tendencies in obese patients and to discuss their impact on primary care consultations.
Material/Methods: 123 patients, showing a BMI >25 kg/m² and following a health Check up, rated questionnaires regarding health-related locus of control, self-efficacy and attribution tendencies concerning obesity. Physical health parameters like BMI, level of cholesterol, blood pressure and existing cardiovascular co morbidities were assessed by GPs. Statistical analysis were conducted using SPSSv16.0.
Results: Patients scored comparable to a norm- population on self- efficacy and the three dimensions of health related locus of control. Physical health parameters did not explain variance. Patients named mainly behavioral causes for their overweight; those with a BMI >30 kg/m² tend to attribute their bodyweight to genetically origins.
Conclusions: In order to conduct individual tailored consultancies it is necessary to explore the individual beliefs and attitudes of patients of concern. It is suggested that locus of control and self- efficacy are obligatory issues to discuss in preventive encounters with these patients.
GPs should be trained in techniques like motivational interviewing in order to encourage patients to take responsibility for their health and thus increase treatment outcome.
Keywords: Primary Health Care, Overweight - psychology, Obesity - psychology, Internal-External Control, Demography, Questionnaires, Referral and Consultation, Self Efficacy