A combined planning and telephone aftercare intervention for obese patients: Effects on physical activity and body weight after one year
Veronika Ströbl, Werner Knisel , Ulrike Landgraf, Hermann Faller
Department of Medical Psychology, Medical Sociology, and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Würzburg, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
Objective: Obese patients require sustained lifestyle changes to reduce their health risks. We therefore developed a combined planning and telephone aftercare intervention based on the Health Action Process Approach to enhance physical activity after inpatient rehabilitation for obesity.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Patients: A total of 467 obesity rehabilitation patients (55% male; mean age 48 years).
Methods: Participants were randomized to receive standard obesity rehabilitation or standard obesity rehabilitation plus the new intervention. Participants in the intervention condition planned individual physical activities they intended to perform after discharge and were followed up by 6 phone calls for 6 months. Physical activity and body weight were assessed after 6 and 12 months.
Results: The intervention was well accepted by participants. After 12 months, effects on physical activity, but not body weight, were found. At this point, the duration of physical activity per week was 58 min longer in the intervention group than in the control group. However, body weight was reduced to similar degrees in both groups.
Conclusion: The intervention increased physical activity, but did not reduce body weight, compared with standard care. However, even without weight reduction, an increase in physical activity may reduce health risks in obese patients.
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