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Obesity management in general practice: does current practice match guideline recommendations?

Primary health care, generally the first point of contact for people seeking health services, has been identified as a good environment for implementing strategies for preventing and managing obesity.1 Clinical practice guidelines for managing overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia have been developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), providing evidence-based recommendations that support a systematic approach to preventing overweight and obesity.2,3 The guidelines emphasise patient engagement in decision making, tailored recommendations, co-management and/or referral, and long-term follow-up with regular monitoring by a general practitioner. We examined the documentation of quantitative measures as recommended in the NHMRC guidelines by GPs in a metropolitan region of Melbourne, to assess whether GPs’ practice was consistent with these recommendations.


Study population

We performed a retrospective analysis of general practice patient data retrieved from the Melbourne East Monash General Practice Database (MAGNET). This database holds patient data collected from the computerised medical records of 78 participating general practice clinics in the inner-eastern region of Melbourne between 1 July 2011 and 31 December 2013. The data are collected…