ABSTRACT: A continuing challenge in weight loss treatment is attaining maintenance of weight loss. The goal of this study was to develop a counseling method that would assist African American breast cancer survivors with weight loss maintenance. In this pilot study, 31 obese breast cancer survivors were recruited. Individualized, dietitian-led counseling by telephone and free Weight Watchers coupons were provided to all participants for 18 months. At the 6-month time point, women were randomized to receive spirituality counseling or not in addition to the standard program. The spirituality counseling was delivered via telephone using an 8-step framework. Subjects were asked to utilize daily meditation or prayer, daily readings, and the recording of thoughts in a journal. Mean weight loss from baseline to 6 months was a modest 2.0% of baseline weight. From 6 to 18 months, there was no further weight change in the spirituality arm and a gain of 0.7% in the dietitian-only arm. Despite little effect on weight loss, it did appear that spirituality counseling positively affected spiritual well-being (FACIT-Sp) scores and dietary quality. The spirituality counseling framework therefore may be further refined and useful for other health promotion studies with African American populations.
Journal of the National Medical Association 07/2009; 101(6):552-64. · 1.16 Impact Factor