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A Naturalistic Multicenter Trial of a 12-Week Weight Management Program for Overweight and Obese Patients With Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(4):555-562

Objective: The primary aim of this study was to examine the efficacy and feasibility of a weight control program for overweight and obese patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder using a large sample across various clinical settings.

Method: Psychiatric patients taking antipsychotics participated in a 12-week weight management program at 33 clinical centers across South Korea, and the data for 232 subjects who had a body mass index (BMI) 25 kg/m2 or above and were diagnosed with DSM-IV schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were used in the final analysis. The primary measures of efficacy were changes in body weight and BMI. The study was conducted from December 2005 to July 2006.

Results: These patients showed significant mean ± SD reductions in BMI (0.98 ± 1.01 kg/m2, p < .001) and body weight (2.64 ± 2.75 kg, p < .001), with moderate compliance, after the 12-week intervention. Diet compliance was the strongest single predictor of weight loss. Although significant differences in BMI reduction occurred between groups classified by clinical setting and compliance, all sex, age, clinical setting, compliance, and initial BMI groups showed significant BMI reductions, which fell between 0.4 and 1.5 kg/m2.

Conclusion: Overall results suggest that a weight management program may be disseminated and adopted by practitioners across settings, resulting in short-term weight loss in schizophrenic and schizoaffective patients.