According to the current evidence, behavior modifications are an effective part of a non-surgical multiprofessional obesity treatment program (MOTP). The purpose of the present study was to report changes in weight as well in psychological variables during a one year MOTP. We aimed to identify the associations of emotional state and patients’ emotion regulation skills with weight change.
Prospective interventional study. Data of participants attending the one year obesity treatment in either a group or individual structured MOTP were analyzed. Weight, BMI (Body Mass Index) and measures on psychosomatic variables, emotion regulation skills, affective state, shame and guilt were collected at baseline, after three months and after one year. Mixed-effects models were used for the statistical analysis of BMI.
We included 238 patients at baseline (t1), 234 after three months (t2) and 179 after one year (t3). A drop in BMI measurements of at least 5% was observed in 20.6% of participants at t2 and 41.4% of participants at t3. After three months, participants showed significant improvements in the following psychosomatic variables: somatisation (p < 0.001), interpersonal sensitivity (p < 0.001), emotion regulation skills (p < 0.01), and attention to emotions (p < 0.05). Most of the improvements could be maintained after one year. BMI reduction was associated with a positive change in emotions, improvements in emotion regulation skills, and a reduction of depressive symptoms, disgust and shame.
The results indicate that the assessment and treatment of psychological aspects like depression, emotion regulation skills, body awareness, and acceptance should be a vital part of an interdisciplinary MOPT.
Ethical approval for the present study was obtained from the Bern Kantonal Ethics Committee (KEK-Bern-Study Nr 258/14), Bern, Switzerland.