Aims: Weight gain secondary to antipsychotic medication is associated with many serious conditions, including type II diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary heart disease, and also with poor medication compliance. Weight control programs may be of benefit to outpatients with schizophrenia, but also raise an issue of cost-effectiveness. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a 10-week weight control program for outpatients taking atypical antipsychotics for treatment of schizophrenia, and to follow up the effects of this weight control program in controlling weight gain after termination of the program.
Methods: A total of 33 patients with schizophrenia and antipsychotic-related obesity were enrolled in a 10-week multimodal weight control program. The patients' weights were recorded at baseline, week 4, week 8, week 10 (end of the intervention), week 12, week 24, and week 48. Secondary measures included blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, quality of life and mental health.
Results: For those who completed the weight control program, there was a mean weight loss of 2.1 kg by the end of the intervention, 3.7 kg over 6 months, and 2.7 kg over 12 months. The mean body mass index decreased by 0.8, 1.5 and 1.1 at week 10, week 24 and week 48, respectively, all with statistical significance.
Conclusions: The 10-week weight control program was effective in terms of weight reduction among obese patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and the weight reduction effect lasted for up to 6 months, and up to 12 months in some cases.