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An Evidence-based Guide for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care
University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications
  • Stephanie L. Fitzpatrick, Rush University Medical Center
  • Danielle Wischenka, Yeshiva University
  • Bradley M. Appelhans, Rush University Medical Center
  • Lori Pbert, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Monica Wang, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Dawn K. Wilson, University of South Carolina - Columbia
  • Sherry L. Pagoto, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine, Society of Behavioral Medicine
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center
Publication Date
Document Type
Behavior Therapy; Counseling; Evidence-Based Medicine; Goals; Humans; Obesity; Patient Care Team; Primary Health Care; Referral and Consultation

On behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, we present a model of obesity management in primary care based on the 5As counseling framework (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, and Arrange). Primary care physicians can use the 5As framework to build and coordinate a multidisciplinary team that: 1) addresses patients' psychosocial issues and medical and psychiatric comorbidities associated with obesity treatment failure; 2) delivers intensive counseling that consists of goal setting, self-monitoring, and problem solving; and 3) connects patients with community resources to assist them in making healthy lifestyle changes. This paper outlines reimbursement guidelines and weight-management counseling strategies, and provides a framework for building a multidisciplinary team to maximize the patient's success at weight management.

  • 5As Counseling framework,
  • Comorbidities,
  • Obesity,
  • Primary care
DOI of Published Version
Am J Med. 2016 Jan;129(1):115.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.07.015. Epub 2015 Jul 31. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Stephanie L. Fitzpatrick, Danielle Wischenka, Bradley M. Appelhans, Lori Pbert, et al.. "An Evidence-based Guide for Obesity Treatment in Primary Care" Vol. 129 Iss. 1 (2016) ISSN: 0002-9343 (Linking)
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