In adults who are overweight, how effective is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) compared to other weight management interventions, in improving patient outcomes?
There is limited available evidence on cognitive behavioural
therapy for overweight adults. More high quality research is needed
in this area to adequately assess the effectiveness of CBT in
comparison to weight management interventions for improving patient
Clinical and research implications
The available evidence about the effectiveness of cognitive
behavioural therapy (CBT) for overweight and obesity is limited.
There is some evidence to suggest that adding CBT to diet or
exercise programs may result in small, but statistically
significant increases in weight loss relative to diet and exercise
alone. These benefits were measured at six months or less
post-treatment. Studies comparing CBT alone to behavioural therapy
or a dietary intervention indicate no difference in effectiveness.
The only study to investigate long-term maintenance of weight loss
found that weight loss associated with psychological interventions
was reversed by three year follow-up.
Further studies are required to confirm the effectiveness of
adding CBT interventions to diet and exercise programmes and to
assess whether any weight loss achieved by such combined
interventions is sustained over the long-term. There is currently
very little evidence about the effectiveness of CBT alone compared
to other weight loss interventions, or about the effectiveness of
group versus individual interventions. Future studies should
include both male and female participants, as the majority of the
current evidence is derived from women only or majority women
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