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Schizophr Res. 2006 Mar;83(1):95-101. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

A cognitive/behavioral group intervention for weight loss in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics.

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School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Arlington, 411 S. Nedderman Dr. Box 19407, 76019-0407, USA.


Obesity and diabetes have caused problems for individuals with schizophrenia long before atypical antipsychotic agents. The prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and the Metabolic Syndrome has increased in people with schizophrenia as compared to the general population. Risk reduction studies for persons with obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease indicate that cognitive/behavioral interventions that promote motivation and provide strategies to overcome the barriers in adherence to diet and activity modification are effective interventions for weight management and risk reduction. In the landmark multi-center randomized-controlled trial study, the Diabetes Prevention Project (DPP), a cognitive/behavioral intervention, was more successful in producing weight loss and preventing diabetes than the drugs metformin, troglitazone or placebo. This pilot study examined the effectiveness of a cognitive/behavioral group intervention, modified after the DPP program, in individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder taking atypical antipsychotics in a large urban public mental health system. Outcome measures included body weight, body mass index, waist-hip ratios, and fasting glucose levels. Both groups demonstrated elevated fasting glucose levels and were obese with a mean BMI of 33. The group that received the cognitive/behavioral group intervention lost more weight than the treatment as usual group. The CB group participants lost an average of 5.4 lb or 2.9% of body weight, and those in the control group lost 1.3 lb or 0.6% body weight. The range of weight loss for the treatment group was from 1 to 20 lb. This pilot study has demonstrated that weight loss is possible with cognitive/behavioral interventions in a population with a psychotic disorder.

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