Are you obese? How do they treat you in health care?

As doctors, nurses and other health professionals refer to people with obesity will check the OD-WAGA Obesity People’s Foundation.  Analysis of the experiences of patients with obesity in dealing with medical staff is the first such social study in Poland. You are over 18 years old and BMI (body mass index) above 30 – we invite you to fill out the questionnaire. 

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In 2014, the OD-WAGA Obesity People’s Foundation became the first in Poland to gather relationships of obese patients about forms of discrimination and stigmatization, which they experience on a daily basis in various areas of social life. One of these areas is access to health care and medical services. 

Our database, however, includes only a small group of obese patients and those who shared their negative experiences with their contacts with doctors, nurses, midwives and other health care workers. It does not include positive opinions. Therefore, we want to investigate more closely the relationship between patients with obesity and employees of medical facilities across the country – explains  President of the OD-WAGA Foundation. 

Analysis of the experience of patients with obesity in dealing with medical staff is the first of a series of anti-discrimination studies planned by the OD-WAGA Foundation. The study was prepared and conducted by the Department of Sociology of Medicine and Pathology of the Social Chair of Social Medicine at the Medical University of Gdansk. 

It is only natural that we start our research cycle from medical facilities. These are the places we get to in the first place when we are cured of obesity or other diseases. The attitude of the staff determines whether we will be honestly treated and treated with respect as other patients. 

The OD-WAGA Foundation also receives the voices of healthcare professionals. They say straightforwardly that they do not feel well prepared to treat obese people, and to adequately support this group of patients in therapy and to care for them. 

The aim of our study is therefore to diagnose these areas of relations between obese patients and health care workers, which require change and education – says research director. 

Research The analysis of the experience of patients with obesity in dealing with medical staff is completely anonymous. It is implemented through a special questionnaire consisting of closed and open questions. We invite women and men with obesity over the age of 18 and with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and more to participate in the study. To collect reliable research material, about 600 people are needed. 

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You can read also: The role of fat and its properties in the diet

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