Cohort Update: Healthy Lifestyle and Heath Care Research PaTH Cohort

The PaTH Network Primary Care cohort is an exciting way to gain insight into health behaviors among primary care patients. This cohort of patients was given a series of surveys at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months about health behaviors and health symptoms. A group of health services obesity researchers has undertaken several projects to analyze these surveys and better understand patients’ health practices.

One of the first papers from this group was an analysis of self-monitoring practices among primary care patients. Self-monitoring (i.e. tracking steps, tracking dietary intake, etc) is a proven weight management strategy, because self-observation can improve self-efficacy and goal realization. Self-weighing is a form of self-monitoring that has been shown to be effective among adult participants in community-based weight loss trials. However, there is little data about the self-weighing habits among patient populations.

The group analyzed data from the 6-month survey of the primary care patients because that survey assessed self-weighing frequency. They found that over 42% of patients do not engage in self-weighing at least weekly. In adjusted and unadjusted analyses, self-weighing daily or weekly vs less than weekly was associated with markers of high socioeconomic status (higher education, employment status, and white race). While not possible to infer causality from this cross-sectional analysis, patients who reported self-weighing daily had a lower body mass index than patients who self-weighed weekly or less than weekly (29kg/m2 vs 31kg/m2 and 31kg/m2).

Next, using data from the electronic medical record that is now connected to the survey data, the group is conducting analyses of self-weighing and other weight behaviors and their effects on achieving weight goals.

Bramante CT, McTigue KM, Lehmann HP, Clark JM, Rothenberger S, Kraschnewski J, Lent M, Herring SJ, Conroy MB, Mccullough J, Bennett WL. Understanding primary care patients’ self-weighing habits: Cohort Analysis from the PaTH Clinical Data Research Network. JGIM. 2019.

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