Disclosure: The author has no competing interests
Brief Cutting Edge Report
On the relationship between weight status and doctor shopping behavior—evidence from Australia
Article first published online: 5 SEP 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 11, pages 2225–2230, November 2013
How to Cite
Feng, X. (2013), On the relationship between weight status and doctor shopping behavior—evidence from Australia. Obesity, 21: 2225–2230. doi: 10.1002/oby.20586
- Issue published online: 1 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 5 SEP 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 3 AUG 2013 03:42AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 17 JUN 2013
A recent study has suggested that overweight and obese people are more likely to consult a range of physicians (doctor shopping). The consistency of this finding with multiple measures of doctor shopping and controls for socioeconomic circumstances was interrogated.
Design and Methods
Ninety-nine thousand four hundred seven Australians aged 45 and over who had sought primary healthcare at least five times within 6 months of a survey (2006-2008). (i) The count of different physicians consulted; a binary indicator of (ii) >= three different physicians; (iii) >= five different physicians; and iv) a measure that took into account multiple consultations with the same physician were investigated. Weight status was measured using Body Mass Index (BMI) based on self-reported height and weight. Controls included socioeconomic circumstances, demographics, health, and neighborhood factors.
In comparison to people with “normal” BMI, the likelihood of doctor shopping was lower among overweight (Incidence Rate Ratio: 0.97, 95%CI: 0.96, 0.98) and obese people (0.95: 0.93, 0.96). This negative correlation between doctor shopping behavior and weight status was consistent after full adjustment and across different outcome measures.
In contrast with recent evidence from the US, overweight and obese Australians are less prone to doctor shopping behavior than their peers with “normal” BMI.