Interventions improving health professionals' practice for addressing patients' weight management behaviours: systematic review of reviews

Bahareh Yazdizadeh, Ruth Walker, Helen Skouteris, Ellinor K. Olander, Briony Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Health professionals require education and training to implement obesity management guidelines and ultimately impact on the health outcomes experienced by their patients. Therefore, a systematic review of systematic reviews that evaluated interventions designed to change the practice of health professionals when addressing diet and physical activity with their patients was conducted. MEDLINE Complete; Cochrane database of systematic reviews; PsycINFO; CINAHL Complete; Global Health; Embase; INFORMIT: Health Subset; Health System Evidence and RX for change were searched in March 2019, with no date or language limits. Identified references underwent screening, full-text analyses and data extraction in duplicate. The search identified 15 230 references. Five systematic reviews that provided a narrative syntheses of a combined 38 studies were included. Health professional participants generally reported being satisfied with the training interventions. Heterogeneity between and within included reviews, non-controlled designs of individual studies and low quality of evidence at an individual study level and review level made it difficult to draw firm conclusions regarding what interventions are most effective in changing health professionals' knowledge, skills, self-efficacy, attitudes and practice. However, similar gaps in the literature were identified across included reviews. Key areas that could be addressed in future interventions including organization and system-level barriers to providing advice, health professionals' attitudes and motivation and weight stigma have been highlighted. Health professionals and patients could be more involved in the planning and development of interventions that work towards improving diet and physical activity advice and support provided in healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • practice
  • health professionals
  • diet
  • physical activity

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