Middle-aged women's decisions about body weight management: needs assessment and testing of a knowledge translation tool

Menopause. 2015 Apr;22(4):414-22. doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000326.


Objective: This study aims to assess middle-aged women's needs when making body weight management decisions and to evaluate a knowledge translation tool for addressing their needs.

Methods: A mixed-methods study used an interview-guided theory-based survey of professional women aged 40 to 65 years. The tool summarized evidence to address their needs and enabled women to monitor actions taken. Acceptability and usability were reported descriptively.

Results: Sixty female participants had a mean body mass index of 28.0 kg/m(2) (range, 17.0-44.9 kg/m(2)), and half were premenopausal. Common options for losing (82%) or maintaining (18%) weight included increasing physical activity (60%), eating healthier (57%), and getting support (40%). Decision-making involved getting information on options (52%), soliciting others' decisions/advice (20%), and being self-motivated (20%). Preferred information sources included written information (97%), counseling (90%), and social networking websites (43%). Five professionals (dietitian, personal trainer, occupational therapist, and two physicians) had similar responses. Of 53 women sent the tool, 27 provided acceptability feedback. They rated it as good to excellent for information on menopause (96%), body weight changes (85%), and managing body weight (85%). Most would tell others about it (81%). After 4 weeks of use, 25 women reported that the wording made sense (96%) and that the tool had clear instructions (92%) and was easy to use across time (88%). The amount of information was rated as just right (64%), but the tool had limited space for responding (72%).

Conclusions: When making decisions about body weight management, women's needs were "getting information" and "getting support." The knowledge translation tool was acceptable and usable, but further evaluation is required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weight Maintenance / physiology*
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Menopause / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods*
  • Weight Loss / physiology*