Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting up to 13% of reproductive-aged women. Weight and lifestyle management are key initial treatment strategies for individuals with PCOS as recommended in International Evidence-based Guidelines. Allied health professionals including dietitians, exercise physiologists and psychologists are crucial in delivering support for lifestyle and weight management.
To explore the barriers and enablers to lifestyle and weight management for individuals with PCOS from the perspectives of allied health professionals.
This is a qualitative study using a phenomenology approach to understand the allied health professionals lived experiences on managing lifestyle of individuals with PCOS. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with allied health professionals (dietitians, exercise physiologists and psychologist). Interviews were audio-recorded and professionally transcribed. The transcripts were coded inductively and thematically analysed.
/setting: Participants were 15 (9 dietitians, 5 exercise physiologists, 1 psychologist) allied health professionals involved in the management of PCOS in Australia (n=10 Victoria, n=5 other states) interviewed between June and September 2019.
Barriers and enablers of allied health professionals relating to the provision of lifestyle and weight management with individuals with PCOS.
Barriers relating to individuals with PCOS include insufficient knowledge on lifestyle management, lack of time, socio-economic disadvantage preventing access to lifestyle support and psychological issues such as eating disorders or depression. Barriers relating to health professionals include insufficient knowledge in PCOS and insufficient time during consultation. Barriers relating to the health system include lifestyle recommendations in the PCOS guidelines being too general and weight-focused, funding system does not facilitate long term care and low integration of care between health professionals.
Barriers for the individual, health professional and health system all need to be addressed to improve the implementation of lifestyle management in PCOS care to optimise consistency with the PCOS International Evidence-based Guidelines.

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