Madigan CD, Graham HE, Sturgiss E, et al. Effectiveness of weight management interventions for adults delivered in primary care: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2022 May 30;377:e069719. doi: 10.1136/bmj-2021-069719.
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of behavioural weight management interventions for adults with obesity delivered in primary care.

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF STUDIES: Randomised controlled trials of behavioural weight management interventions for adults with a body mass index =25 delivered in primary care compared with no treatment, attention control, or minimal intervention and weight change at =12 months follow-up.

DATA SOURCES: Trials from a previous systematic review were extracted and the search completed using the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, PubMed, and PsychINFO from 1 January 2018 to 19 August 2021.

DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Two reviewers independently identified eligible studies, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analyses were conducted with random effects models, and a pooled mean difference for both weight (kg) and waist circumference (cm) were calculated.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome was weight change from baseline to 12 months. Secondary outcome was weight change from baseline to =24 months. Change in waist circumference was assessed at 12 months.

RESULTS: 34 trials were included: 14 were additional, from a previous review. 27 trials (n=8000) were included in the primary outcome of weight change at 12 month follow-up. The mean difference between the intervention and comparator groups at 12 months was -2.3 kg (95% confidence interval -3.0 to -1.6 kg, I2=88%, P<0.001), favouring the intervention group. At =24 months (13 trials, n=5011) the mean difference in weight change was -1.8 kg (-2.8 to -0.8 kg, I2=88%, P<0.001) favouring the intervention. The mean difference in waist circumference (18 trials, n=5288) was -2.5 cm (-3.2 to -1.8 cm, I2=69%, P<0.001) in favour of the intervention at 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Behavioural weight management interventions for adults with obesity delivered in primary care are effective for weight loss and could be offered to members of the public.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42021275529.

Ratings by Clinicians (at least 3 per Specialty)
Specialty Score
Public Health
Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP)
General Internal Medicine-Primary Care(US)
Comments from MORE raters

Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP) rater

Really nice study! To me, the key in here are the 12 visits that many insurance companies aren't going to pay for.

Family Medicine (FM)/General Practice (GP) rater

Many GPs are fatalistic about the chances of patients losing weight. This review supports the small but significant effectiveness of behavioural interventions conducted within primary care, as long as there are at least 12 contacts with patients.

Public Health rater

Well reported and conducted systematic review demonstrating the impact of primary care programs for weight loss. Follow-up is relatively short to 12 months. Not clear how the programs differ and the impacts on patient sub-populations.