Increasing the motivation for physical activity in obese patients




In this randomized controlled study, a standardized motivation intervention was compared with a relaxation intervention with regard to its effectiveness in decreasing dropout rates and increasing physical activity in a sample of obese patients.


Thirty-eight obese participants were randomly assigned to a one-session motivation or relaxation intervention. Thereafter, both groups participated in an 8-week aerobic program. Adherence, physical activity, motivational stage of change, and body mass index (BMI) were assessed during intervention and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups.


During the aerobic program, the motivation group showed significantly fewer dropouts but comparable adherence if only completers were considered. Moreover, their weekly minutes of physical activity increased over time before leveling off, whereas steady decreases were observed in the relaxation group. For motivational stage of change and BMI, no significant group differences were observed.


The importance and efficacy of motivational interventions in enhancing the high dropout rates in obesity treatment is underlined. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009