A 6-month randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a lifestyle intervention for weight gain management in schizophrenia

BMC Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.21). 02/2013; 13(1):60. DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-13-60
Source: PubMed


Patients with schizophrenia have lower longevity than the general population as a consequence of a combination of risk factors connected to the disease, lifestyle and the use of medications, which are related to weight gain.

A multicentric, randomized, controlled-trial was conducted to test the efficacy of a 12-week group Lifestyle Wellness Program (LWP). The program consists of a one-hour weekly session to discuss topics like dietary choices, lifestyle, physical activity and self-esteem with patients and their relatives. Patients were randomized into two groups: standard care (SC) and standard care plus intervention (LWP). Primary outcome was defined as the weight and body mass index (BMI).

160 patients participated in the study (81 in the intervention group and 79 in the SC group). On an intent to treat analysis, after three months the patients in the intervention group presented a decrease of 0.48 kg (CI 95% -0.65 to 1.13) while the standard care group showed an increase of 0.48 kg (CI 95% 0.13 to 0.83; p=0.055). At six-month follow-up, there was a significant weight decrease of -1.15 kg, (CI 95% -2.11 to 0.19) in the intervention group compared to a weight increase in the standard care group (+0.5 kg, CI 95% -0.42-1.42, p=0.017).

In conclusion, this was a multicentric randomized clinical trial with a lifestyle intervention for individuals with schizophrenia, where the intervention group maintained weight and presented a tendency to decrease weight after 6 months. It is reasonable to suppose that lifestyle interventions may be important long-term strategies to avoid the tendency of these individuals to increase weight.

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Available from: Sérgio Tamai, Feb 25, 2014
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    • "Finally, studies have demonstrated that weight reduction and management of risk factors have been effective in individuals with serious mental illness (Attux et al., 2013; Daumit et al., 2013; Usher et al., 2012; Daumit et al., 2011; Littrell et al., 2003). The overall intervention plan and strategies used in this study may be more successful for individuals with SMI who are relatively stable and living in the community. "
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