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Patient Engagement in Remote weight management Services: The development and validity of a remote healthcare Screening Tool – study 2 (PERSyST2)

Trial Status: Open

The proposed study (2/2) is part of wider research project that evaluates patients experiences with remote (telephone and online) weight management services (WMS) at two NHS trusts (Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust).

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that WMS moved to remote healthcare, in place of face-to-face. This presents an opportunity to examine how acceptable and accessible remote healthcare is for patients living with obesity. The Chief Allied Health Professions Officer’s team called for better use of technology in delivering healthcare. Both Trusts taking part in this research project agree that remote delivery will be part of future service (likely combined with face-to-face options). Whilst remote WMS presents exciting possibilities, this has not suited some patients. To provide accessible and acceptable remote healthcare to future patients living with obesity, it is necessary to better understand who remote healthcare is most likely to help, how, and why.

Study 1 (previously approved) used interviews with patients from Birmingham and Worcestershire NHS trusts to evaluate the key barriers and facilitators to accessing remote WMS. Study 2 (this application) will comprise two online surveys that build on the findings of study 1. The first survey will identify those competencies deemed by patients living with obesity as necessary in successfully using remote WMS. From this, a remote healthcare screening tool will be developed that will enable healthcare practitioners to identify patients most likely to engage with remote WMS and those who require additional support or would benefit from a hybrid pattern of treatment, i.e., face-to-face and remote WMS.

The study and resultant screening tool has the potential to benefit patients through better outcomes and more acceptable experiences of WMS delivery. This can benefit healthcare trusts via an effective allocation of resources and improved healthcare outcomes.