Publication Details

Tapsell, L. C., Lonergan, M., Batterham, M. J., Neale, E. P., Martin, A., Thorne, R., Deane, F. & Peoples, G. (2017). Effect of interdisciplinary care on weight loss: A randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 7 (7), e014533-1-e014533-12.


Objective: To determine the effectiveness of a novel interdisciplinary treatment compared with usual care on weight loss in overweight and obese adult volunteers. Design: Single blinded controlled trial. Participants randomly assigned to usual care (C, general guideline-based diet and exercise advice), intervention (I, interdisciplinary protocol) or intervention + a healthy food supplement (30 g walnuts/day) (IW). Setting: Community based study, Illawarra region, south of Sydney, Australia. Participants: Generally well volunteer adult residents, 25-54 years, body mass index (BMI) 25-40kg/m 2 were eligible. At baseline 439 were assessed, 377 were randomised, 298 completed the 3-month intensive phase and 178 completed the 12-month follow-up. Interventions: Treatment was provided at clinic visits intensively (0 months, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months) then quarterly to 12 months. Support phone calls were quarterly. All participants underwent blinded assessments for diet, exercise and psychological status. Primary and secondary: measures The primary outcome was difference in weight loss between baseline and 12 months (clinically relevant target 5% loss). Secondary outcomes were changes in blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and lipids, and changes in diet, exercise and psychological parameters. Results: At 12 months, differences in weight loss were identified (p < 0.001). The I group lost more than controls at 3 months (91.11 (92.23,90.00), p < 0.05) and the IW more than controls at 3 months (91.25 (92.35,90.15), p < 0.05) and 6 months (92.20 (93.90,90.49), p < 0.01). The proportion achieving 5% weight loss was significantly different at 3 months, 6 months and 9 months (p=0.04, p=0.03, p=0.03), due to fewer controls on target at 3 months, 6 months and 9 months and more IW participants at 6 months. Reductions in secondary outcomes (systolic blood pressure, blood glucose/lipid parameters and lifestyle measures) followed the pattern of weight loss. Conclusions: An interdisciplinary intervention produced greater and more clinically significant and sustained weight loss compared with usual care. The intensive phase was sufficient to reach clinically relevant targets, but long-term management plans may be required.



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