Effectiveness of a Psychosocial Weight Management Program for Individuals with Schizophrenia

  • Noosha NivEmail author
  • Amy N. Cohen
  • Alison Hamilton
  • Christopher Reist
  • Alexander S. Young


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.


Body Mass Index Schizophrenia Usual Care Weight Management Antipsychotic Medication 
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Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (outside the U.S.) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noosha Niv
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Amy N. Cohen
    • 1
  • Alison Hamilton
    • 1
  • Christopher Reist
    • 2
  • Alexander S. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.VA Desert Pacific MIRECC and University of California Los Angeles, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.VA Desert Pacific MIRECC and University of Califonia IrvineDepartment of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorIrvineUSA
  3. 3.Long Beach VA, MIRECCLong BeachUSA

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