Date: 20 Mar 2012

Effectiveness of a Psychosocial Weight Management Program for Individuals with Schizophrenia

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The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a weight loss program for individuals with schizophrenia in usual care. The study included 146 adults with schizophrenia from two mental health clinics of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The 109 individuals who were overweight or obese were offered a 16-week, psychosocial, weight management program. Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) were assessed at baseline, 1 year later, and at each treatment session. Only 51% of those who were overweight or obese chose to enroll in the weight management program. Participants attended an average of 6.7 treatment sessions, lost an average of 2.4 pounds, and had an average BMI decrease of 0.3. There was no significant change in weight or BMI compared to the control group. Intervention strategies that both improve utilization and yield greater weight loss need to be developed.

This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs through the Health Services Research & Development Service (RCD 00-033, CPI 99-383, and MNT 03-213) and the VA Desert Pacific Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC); and by the UCLA-RAND NIMH Partnered Research Center for Quality Care (P30MH082760). Any opinions expressed are only those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of any affiliated institutions.