An exploration into the perspectives of Occupational Therapists in the provision of obesity management within a mental health setting.
(2014) An exploration into the perspectives of Occupational Therapists in the provision of obesity management within a mental health setting., no. 83.
The rising level of obesity within the United Kingdom is becoming a significant public health issue. Obesity is associated with a number of different physical health problems leading to an increasing financial strain on the NHS. As well as the physical health difficulties there is also an association between obesity and poor mental health that leads to an increased burden of weight related issues. Research shows those with a mental health condition are twice as likely to be obese than the general population. A number of psychological and social factors can increase the risk of obesity of someone with a mental health condition, such as low mood, low self esteem, anxiety, decreased physical activity levels, lack of social interaction and poor access to nutritional choices. Antipsychotic medication can also increase appetite, therefore increasing the likelihood of those with a mental health condition to be obese. Occupational Therapy is well placed in mental health settings to address the causes and consequences of obesity through occupation focused interventions. However, there is little research documenting obesity management interventions implemented by mental health Occupational Therapists in the UK. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the provision of Occupational Therapy obesity management interventions within a mental health setting, with particular focus on the perceptions and experiences of the OTs working in this setting. A research proposal will then be outlined in relation to the findings of the literature review. A generic qualitative design will be used whist considering phenomenology principles throughout. Semi-structured interviews will be carried out with 6 community mental health Occupational Therapists from 3 regional areas. A specific focus will be on the experiences and perceptions of UK based community mental health Occupational Therapists when addressing the issue of diet as an intervention in the management of obesity.