What Users Have to Say About the 5As of Obesity Management™

It’s been about a month since the Canadian Obesity Network officially launched its new set of practitioner tools for obesity management.

Regular readers may recall that the 5As of Obesity Management™ framework was developed through extensive consultation and testing with primary care practitioners, obesity experts and patients – a process that took almost two years and countless hours of literature reviews, focus groups, interviews and design work – the results are not only visually appealing but impressive in their simplicity.

Since its launch, over 2,000 toolkits and patient information resources have been ordered from the Canadian Obesity Network’s website and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Here is how physicians, nurses, dietitians, and other health professionals have rated their satisfaction (very or somewhat satisfied) with the tools:

– Content: 95.3%
– Appearance: 100%
– Usability: 85.7%
– Value: 90.4%
– Potential impact: 90.0%

(If you have used these tools and wish to add your voice – please take the survey here)

Orders continue to come in daily – including repeat and ‘bulk’ orders, a certain sign of appreciation.

The valuable feedback also asks for more – many want electronic versions for their electronic medical records, some want a more sturdy tool (plastic), others want additional resources, including information in other languages.

Much of this is in the works, including a 5As app for iPad and iPhone, which should be ready to launch in the next few weeks.

What I’ve learnt (as one of the experts) is that often less is more – it is easy to write a 500 textbook on obesity, but distilling this down into into a few bullet points is much harder than it seems. The fewer words you can use, the more each word counts.

The fact that once done, the whole thing seems so simple and straightforward is exactly the beauty of it all – something that seems as simple as ‘asking for permission to discuss weight’ can fully change the tone (and hopefully the outcome) of the entire encounter. So does, waiting to give advise till after a complete assessment – you would think this is standard practice, but research shows it is not.

There are currently 1,000,000 health professionals in Canada – all of them see overweight and obese clients regularly – if only a fraction of them ever see and use the 5As of Obesity Management in their practice, we may yet together make a difference in the lives of many.

Edmonton, Alberta

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