Evaluating Approaches for Communication About Genomic Influences on Body Weight Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Developments in genomics may improve patient consultations about weight management; however, optimal approaches for these communications are unstudied. PURPOSE: We assessed the influence of receiving generic, genomic information and of physician communication approach on overweight females in simulated clinical weight counseling interactions. METHODS: Two hundred participants were randomized to receive information about genomic or behavioral underpinnings of body weight from a virtual reality-based physician who used either a supportive or directive communication approach. Participants completed post-test self-report questionnaires. RESULTS: Genomic explanations for body weight led patients to perceive less blame [F (1,196) = 47.68, p < .0001] and weight stigma [F (1,196) = 5.75, p = .017] in the consultation. They did not lead to negative outcomes in physician-patient interaction or affect health behavior-related attitudes and beliefs. Physician's supportive or directive communication approach did not moderate these effects. CONCLUSIONS: Integrating genomic concepts into health care has potential to positively influence the patient-provider relationship while addressing longstanding challenges in weight management. ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01443910.

altmetric score

  • 27.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Persky, S., & Street, R. L.

citation count

  • 16

publication date

  • April 2015