Weight Gain in Psychiatric Inpatients: Are Interventions Making a Positive Impact?

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Objective: The negative impact of weight gain is a common problem facing all patients, but it is especially concerning in the seriously mentally ill population. The literature is replete with interventions to mitigate weight gain in this population; however, most focus on outpatient settings. This study was undertaken to quantify weight gain in an inpatient setting and to assess whether instituted interventions to reduce weight gain were effective.

Methods: This retrospective study analyzed weight changes in adult psychiatric inpatients with length of stay of 30 days or more. Data regarding weight changes were collected from records before (July 2005 to June 2006) a hospital-wide policy change to combat weight gain and after (July 2013 to June 2014) the changes were instituted. A total of 537 charts were reviewed.

Results: Male inpatients gained a mean of 7.61 lb and females gained 6.02 lb. The mean weight change increased for the pre and post policy change periods: 6.08 lb and 7.85 lb, respectively, a 29% increase in mean weight.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that weight in psychiatric inpatients hospitalized for 30 days or longer increased despite widespread changes in the hospital setting implemented to limit weight gain.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2017;19(4):17m02111