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Behavioural management of antipsychotic-induced weight gain: a review

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Werneke U, Taylor D, Sanders TAB, Wessely S. Behavioural management of antipsychotic-induced weight gain: a review.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2003: 108: 252–259. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2003. Objective:

Although psychiatrists are aware of weight gain induced by atypical antipsychotics, only few studies on behavioural interventions in this patient group are published. This review aims to summarize the evidence on effectiveness of behavioural interventions for weight gain in the general population and in-patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. Method:

Medline and Cochrane databases search for evidence on effectiveness of behavioural interventions. Results:

In general, behavioural approaches including, diet, exercise and drug treatments may be effective. There were only 13 studies of behavioural interventions for patients taking antipsychotic medication. No study met the criteria for a RCT. Calorie restriction in a controlled ward environment, structured counselling combined with cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling on life style and provision of rewards may potentially lead to weight loss. Conclusion:

Currently only limited, methodologically flawed, evidence is available that behavioural interventions in overweight patients treated with antipsychotics, although intuitively appealing, actually work.

Keywords: atypical antipsychotics; diet; exercise; randomized controlled trial; review; weight gain

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for the Economics in Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, 2: Pharmacy Department, Maudsley Hospital, 3: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, King's College, and 4: Academic Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College School of Medicine and Dentistry and Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK

Publication date: October 1, 2003


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