Systematic review: What works to address obesity in nurses?

Source: M Kelly, J Wills, Occupational Medicine, Advance Articles, March 22, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: There is evidence that the prevalence of overweight and obesity among nurses is increasing. As well as the impact on health, the costs associated with obesity include workplace injury, lost productivity and sickness absence. Finding ways to address obesity in nurses may be a challenge because of the barriers they face in leading a healthy lifestyle.

To identify the available evidence for interventions to address obesity in nurses. Methods Databases searched included CINAHL, SCOPUS (which encompasses the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews), PsycINFO, MEDLINE and British Nursing Index. Ancillary searching of the grey literature was conducted for case studies of weight management interventions in National Health Service (NHS) settings. Inclusion criteria were studies involving nurses that reported on interventions addressing health behaviours that contribute to obesity and included at least one obesity-related outcome measure.

Eleven primary studies were found concerning lifestyle interventions for nurses. There was no strong evidence for any particular intervention to address obesity, although integrating interventions into nurses’ daily working lives may be important. Case studies from the grey literature showcased a range of interventions, but very few studies reported outcomes.

The review demonstrates that there is insufficient good-quality evidence about successful interventions to address obesity in nurses. Evidence does indicate that interventions should be designed around the specific barriers nurses may face in leading a healthy lifestyle.