Motivational Interviewing Not Better in Weight Loss Programs

Evidence lacking that MI makes meaningful difference to weight loss, well-being when added to behavioral weight management program

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TUESDAY, March 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- There is no evidence to suggest that motivational interviewing (MI) increases the effectiveness of behavioral weight management programs (BWMPs) for controlling weight, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published online March 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Moscho Michalopoulou, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the independent contribution of MI as part of a BWMP in a review of randomized controlled trials in adults or adolescents. Data were included from 46 studies involving 11,077 participants, mainly with obesity.

The researchers found that BWMPs using MI were more effective than no/minimal intervention at six months (−0.88 kg; 95 percent confidence interval, −1.27 to −0.48 kg), but they were not significantly more effective than lower-intensity (−0.88 kg; 95 percent confidence interval, −2.39 to 0.62 kg) or similar-intensity (−1.36 kg; 95 percent confidence interval, −2.80 to 0.07 kg) BWMPs. Data were too sparse to pool comparisons with no-minimal intervention at one year; MI did not produce statistically significantly greater weight change compared with lower- or similar-intensity BWMPs without MI. Data were also sparse from studies with 18-month follow-up; no significant benefit was seen with MI in any of the comparator categories. Too few studies were available to pool data on psychological well-being; however, data did not suggest that MI was independently effective.

"There is no evidence that MI for people receiving treatment to control their weight makes a meaningful difference to weight loss or well-being when added to a BWMP," the authors write.

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