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Prominence of the body during consultations

Consider the prominence of the body during consultations when working with people living with overweight or obesity

Different healthcare professions have different levels of interaction with the patient’s body. Physiotherapy for example, is inherently about the body and parts of the body are often exposed and palpated during treatment. A dietician however would be far less likely to need to expose body parts or touch a patient. It’s important to reflect on your own clinical practice and be mindful that if exposing or touching a patient’s body is a routine part of your practice, you might become desensitised to this and not be aware that for the patient, this may be confronting and lead them to feel judged. If you do require some sort of physical examination of the patient, you should wait until the patient is fully clothed and comfortable again before you initiate a weight management discussion.

The following patient quote corroborates this approach:3

“You’re already in an uncomfortable situation (in a physiotherapy appointment) where you are semi-naked, so maybe it’s not the best time to think about what you look like “
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