Long-term maintenance of weight loss in patients with severe mental illness through a behavioural treatment programme in the UK


John Pendlebury, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Cromwell House, Cromwell Road, Eccles, Manchester M30 0GT, UK.
E-mail: john@pendlebury.freeserve.co.uk


Objective:  Obesity is common among people with severe mental illness (SMI). We report our experience from the first 4 years of The Cromwell House weight management clinic.

Method:  Ninety-three patients with SMI aged 43.7 ± 1.2 years referred themselves to this clinic. The patients were seen in weekly group sessions that involved weight measurement, discussion and education.

Results:  Mean baseline weight was 89.5 ± 1.8 kg [body mass index (BMI) 32.3 ± 0.5 kg/m2]. Twenty-three per cent dropped out within the first 8 weeks. There was progressive statistically significant reduction in mean weight and BMI throughout the duration of monitoring with no suggestion of a plateau. The mean final weight loss was 6.2 ± 0.6 kg. Weight loss was correlated only with the number of sessions attended (r = 0.53, P < 0.0001).

Conclusion:  Long-term weight management of obese and overweight patients with severe forms of mental illness was possible through the provision of simple lifestyle advice within the group setting.