Client Experiences With Dietary, Exercise, and Behavioral Services in a Community-Based Weight Management Program

Health Promot Pract. 2016 Jan;17(1):98-106. doi: 10.1177/1524839915610316. Epub 2015 Oct 19.


Compared with randomized trials, community-based interventions are delivered by a wider variety of professionals with varied training backgrounds. When evidence-based programs are scaled into larger formats and disseminated to a wider audience, little is understood about how clients experience these interventions. To understand the experience of clients after meetings with nutrition, exercise, and health behavior professionals, researchers surveyed participants after 6 months in a weight management program. A total of 958 participants were recruited in monthly cohorts beginning September 2011 to complete a program evaluation survey. Qualitative inductive analysis was completed on several open-text items querying respondents as to what they found helpful from meetings with a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and health behavior counselor. Results indicate participants benefitted from gaining knowledge, learning new behavioral skills, or from interpersonal interactions. Findings suggest that the various professional services are valued by clients and that professionals appear to stay within their scope of practice. Implications for those working in weight management are discussed.

Keywords: behavioral therapy; nutrition; physical activity; weight loss; weight management.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Community Health Centers
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support*
  • Weight Loss
  • Weight Reduction Programs*
  • West Virginia