Individual versus group therapy for obesity: Comparison of dropout rate and treatment outcome
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- Minniti, A., Bissoli, L., Di Francesco, V. et al. Eat Weight Disord (2007) 12: 161. doi:10.1007/BF03327593
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AIMS: To compare outcome and dropout rates of an individual nutritional counselling (IT) and a cognitive behavioural group therapy (GT) after 6 months of treatment. METHODS: One hundred and twenty-nine women (72 in the IT and 57 in the GT group) aged 18–65 years, with body mass index (BMI) ”25 kg/m2. Body weight, height and waist circumference were measured. Obesity Related Well Being 97 questionnaire (ORWELL 97), Body Uneasiness Test (BUT), Symptom Check List 90 (SCL 90) and Binge Eating Scale (BES) tests were used to evaluate psychometrical variables. RESULTS: After 6 months, 37.2% (54.2% of initial IT sample and 15,8% of initial GT sample) of subjects abandoned the treatment programme. Completers were older (p<0.03) and had a worse BUTa General Severity Index score (p<0.04) than non-completers. IT had a higher dropout rate than GT. After 6 months of treatment completers lost 6.39% of initial weight and obtained improvements in all studied variables, except scores of SCL 90 and BUTb Positive Symptom Distress Index questionnaires. IT and GT groups did not differ significantly. CONCLUSIONS: Outcomes of IT and GT were comparable in all studied variables, whereas dropout rate of IT was higher than that of GT, suggesting that some characteristics of GT can contribute to the reduction of attrition. Younger age and better body image (measured by BUT) were associated to dropout. After weight loss we observed improvements in almost all variables in both groups without differences.