Condition category
Nutritional, Metabolic, Endocrine
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status
Results overdue

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
The term 'obese' describes a person who's very overweight, with a lot of body fat. Researchers believe that the complexity of obesity is one of the reasons it has been difficult to treat. To address the complex nature of obesity there have been suggestions for multicomponent and multidisciplinary approaches to obesity management. However, there has not been clear agreement on what components and disciplines to include in a multicomponent multidisciplinary approach. Furthermore, many approaches are often developed by researchers, and not by the practitioners treating obesity, or other people associated with obesity management including the actual patients. Subsequently, the aim of this study is to ask a range of people, including researchers, policy makers, educators and practitioners in obesity management and their patients, what they believe should be included in a multicomponent, multidisciplinary approach to obesity management.

Who can participate?
A dietitian, two obese patients, a general practitioner, a counselling psychologist, a social worker, a research psychologist, a naturopath, an endocrinologist, a health epidemiologist and behavioral biologist, a team leader of a community-based health promotion team, two community health nurses, an exercise scientist, and a medical educationalist

What does the study involve?
Information was collected from a series of long, in-depth interviews with the participants, and by observing practitioners working in obesity and their adult patients in a wide variety of settings. This information was then collated along with information from journal articles and books into a software program to sort and group the information.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may benefit from having a platform to explore their concerns and understanding of the management of overweight and obesity and factors contributing to it and how they could manage it. There are no risks beyond normal day-to-day living associated with their participation in this study. However, it is acknowledged that some people could be sensitive about their weight and their inability to lose it and may become upset while discussing their weight-related issues. Similarly, some practitioners may experience discomfort when discussing instances when they have not met the expectations of their clients.

Where is the study run from?
Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
January 2010 to November 2013

Who is funding the study?
Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

Who is the main contact?
1. Dr Anita Cochrane
2. Prof. Neil King

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Anita Cochrane


Contact details

PO Box 3180
Norman Park

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Can the recommendations of stakeholders involved in obesity management be used to operationalise a multicomponent multidisciplinary approach to obesity management in adults that addresses the limitations of linear cause and effect approaches for a condition that is regarded as complex and multisystem?


Study hypothesis

The development of effective and sustainable nonsurgical treatment strategies for obesity has progressed slowly. There have been consistent recommendations for multicomponent and multidisciplinary (MCMD) approaches to address the complexity of obesity. However, there is no clear agreement on the components or disciplines to be considered within MCMD approaches or how they can be best applied in practice.

Study aim: to explore MCMD approaches through an examination of knowledge, skills, beliefs, and recommendations of stakeholders involved in obesity management.

Ethics approval

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Human Ethics Research Committee, 22/07/2010, ref: 1000000514

Study design

Qualitative action research study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Qualitative action research study

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet




1. Convergent interviewing was the main source of data. To achieve a representative sample with maximum diversity to interview, a stakeholder analysis process was conducted to identify the stakeholders to interview. The convergent interviewing technique consists of a series of long, in-depth interviews that gather unstructured content, while using a structured process for the interviews and for data analysis.
2. Observation procedures involved recording (written and audio), analyzing, and interpreting people’s actions and interactions in a wide variety of settings. Observational settings included multidisciplinary network meetings that the primary researcher either facilitated or participated in; talks she gave on obesity, including questions and comments from the participants; multidisciplinary team meetings and obesity talks she attended as an observer; obesity training events and conferences; and conversations she had with colleagues, including her doctoral supervisors, and patients.
3. Reference to the literature progressed as an ongoing dialectic, between the data and the literature, throughout the study. This dialectic was used to clarify, augment, challenge, and inform the data and the direction of the approach in development.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

The components and disciplines that the collective data indicated could be involved in a multicomponent, multidisciplinary approach to obesity management

Secondary outcome measures

The metacomponents evident in the data, and the sub-components of the main components identified

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Stakeholders including researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the field of obesity management, as well as overweight and obese individuals pursuing weight loss
2. Aged over 18

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

14 stakeholders for the convergent interviews

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Individuals under 18
2. Stakeholders who were not working in, or experienced in, the field of obesity management
3. Patients who were not overweight or obese

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Queensland University of Technology

Sponsor information


Queensland University of Technology

Sponsor details

GPO Box 2434

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Queensland University of Technology

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Universities (academic only)



Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

IPD sharing plan
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are/will be available upon request from Dr Anita Cochrane.

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Available on request

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes