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Effect of interdisciplinary care on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial.

Tapsell, L.C., M. Lonergan, M.J. Batterham, E.P. Neale, A. Martin, R. Thorne, F. Deane, G. Peoples, 2017. Effect of interdisciplinary care on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. BMJ Open. 7:e014533. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2016-014533.

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/m2 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 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.