A multifaceted training tool to reduce weight bias among healthcare students: A randomized controlled trial

Shiri Sherf-Dagan, Lani Ofri, Inbar Tayar, Ido Keisar, Assaf Buch, Naama Paska-Davis, Michael Pinus, Riki Tesler, Roni Elran-Barak, Mona Boaz, Gizell Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Weight bias toward people with obesity (PwO) is common in healthcare settings. Efforts to address weight bias in healthcare settings should begin during university studies. This study aimed to explore the effect of a multifaceted intervention on weight bias among undergraduate healthcare students.

METHODS: An open label randomized controlled trial. The intervention tool consisted of short video lectures on obesity, vignettes simulating interactions between health professionals and PwO, and open discourse with a PwO. The control group received a short-written document on obesity. Online questionnaires on Anti-Fat Attitudes ('AFA'), short form of the Fat-Phobia Scale ('FPS'), Weight Implicit Association Test ('Weight-IAT'), and knowledge about obesity were administered at baseline, 1-week, and 6-week post-intervention.

RESULTS: A total of 162, 152, and 146 students participated in the study at baseline, 1-week, and 6-week post-intervention, respectively. Their mean age was 25.8 ± 6.7 years and 88.3% were women. Means of AFA total scores and FPS scores decreased significantly over time only within the intervention group (P Time*Group = 0.002 and 0.014). Both groups showed a similar trend over time in mean scores of Weight-IAT (P Time*Group = 0.868) and knowledge about obesity (P Time*Group = 0.115).

CONCLUSIONS: A multifaceted intervention resulted in a significant reduction in explicit weight bias but did not yield any additional advantages over the control group in implicit weight bias and knowledge about obesity.

GOV NUMBER: NCT05482802.

Original languageEnglish
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Early online date5 Jan 2024
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Asia Oceania Association for the Study of Obesity

Keywords

  • Healthcare students
  • Obesity
  • People with obesity
  • Weight bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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