Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Obesity remains a public health concern among persons with mental illness resulting from the interaction of a combination of factors such as genetic, medication, effects of their symptoms, social, and environmental factors. Obesity complications account for increased mortality and morbidity, reduced life expectancy, and quality of life in persons with mental illness. The management of obesity is challenging and predicting the ability of mental health professionals to advise patients on weight management behavior is important to improve patients' overall well-being. The social cognitive theory constructs knowledge, expectations, situational perception, self-efficacy, and goal setting were utilized in predicting Weight Management Advice Behavior (WMAB) among psychiatry professionals. WMAB described the ability of professionals to effectively offer advice on managing weight. A cross-sectional study design was used, in which data were collected using a validated instrument. A sample size of 134 was used and the collected data were analyzed using simple and multiple linear regression, logistic regression and MANOVA. Self-efficacy, goal setting, knowledge, and situational perception were found to have a significant association with WMAB individually. Only self-efficacy (p < .001), goal setting (p < .001), knowledge (p < .001), and situational perception (p < .05) were independent predictors of WMAB among psychiatry healthcare professionals. There were significant differences among the professional groups with regards to knowledge, self-efficacy, goal setting, situational perception, and expectations. The study findings will bring about positive social change by informing the advice of professionals, reducing obesity and alleviating its burden among people with mental illness.