"Metabolic mindset" common to obese patients, says survey

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An agency said a survey of 1,500 Americans with one or more metabolic disorders revealed four behavioral types common across diabetes, obesity and other conditions.

The “Metabolic Mindset,” as MicroMass Communications has dubbed its discovery, is comprised of:

  • Patients on “Cruise control" (19%), who follow doctors' orders and manage their conditions well but are vulnerable to backsliding and need strong, repeated reinforcement with self-assessment tools that demonstrate the benefits of behavior change;
  • Those “Taking charge" (30%), who don't require physician prodding to avoid unhealthy behaviors and could be engaged as advocates;
  • The “Disengaged" (20%), a relapse-prone group inclined to feel that improving their health is hopeless and needing applause for small achievements
  • The “Overwhelmed" (31%), who don't know where to start and need to be built up with bite-sized information and step-by-step action plans focused on small goals.

The shop says its findings could form the basis for patient support programs, insurance-based incentives and other communications aimed at patients across several disease states.

“Patients would gain better control over their health, physicians would see better outcomes, managed care companies would have fewer claims, public health professionals would see a turnaround in unhealthy trends, and even for-profit weight loss and smoking cessation programs would get new insights into improving their rates of success,” said director of behavioral sciences Jessica Brueggeman.

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