Importance of Assessment

A careful and detailed assessment forms the basis of a good weight management programme. All patients will have a different clinical presentation and it is important to unravel specific difficulties in relation to weight control so that treatment can be tailored accordingly. A thorough evaluation should be undertaken with each patient, there regardless of how long they have been with the practice.


The primary functions of the assessment stage are:

  • To listen to the patient¬ís experience of their weight and to establish rapport
  • To elicit the patient¬ís beliefs and understanding about obesity and to gain an understanding of the factors that have led to weight gain
  • To gather information that will help to characterise the health risks for the patient
  • To gain a picture of current lifestyle habits
  • To identify any potential difficulties or barriers to change
  • To have the opportunity to discuss the expectations from treatment and to agree a way forward.

A weight management assessment tool should be used to ensure continuity of care across the practice. The assessment does not have to be completed in one visit and can be staged, thus allowing time for the patient to contemplate their readiness for change.