Contemporary Clinical Trials
Background: Weight regain is common following behavioral obesity treatment and attenuates many of the benefits of initial weight loss. This paper describes a randomized controlled trial that will evaluate the efficacy of two low-contact weight loss maintenance interventions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and self-regulation (SR). Potential mechanisms of action and moderators of treatment effects will also be evaluated.
Methods: Adults (anticipated N=480)with overweight or obesity will complete an initial 3-monthonline weight loss program (Phase 1). Participants who achieve ≥4 kg weight loss (anticipated N=288) will then be randomized to an ACT or SR weight loss maintenance intervention. Both interventions will entail four2.5 hour, face-to-face, group-based workshop sessions and 6 months of email contact. Assessments will be conducted at phase 1 baseline, phase 1 completion/pre-randomization, and 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30 months post-randomization. The primary outcome will be weight change for the period from randomization to 30 months. Potential process measures including ACT-based constructs (e.g., psychological acceptance, values-consistent behavior), self-weighing frequency, and motivation will be also be assessed, as will potential moderators (e.g., initial weight loss).
Conclusions: This study will compare the efficacy of two intervention approaches (ACT and SR) delivered in a scalable workshop format for long-term weight loss maintenance. Future research could examine efficacy and cost-effectiveness of these approaches in real world settings.
Lillis, J., Schumacher, L., Thomas, J.G., Levin, M.E., Dunsiger, S., Unick, J.L., Evans, E., Hayes, J.F. & Wing, R.R. (In Press). Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial comparing two low-intensity weight loss maintenance interventions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or Self-Regulation. Contemporary Clinical Trials.