Weight suppression as a predictor variable in the treatment of eating disorders: A systematic review

P. E. Jenkins, Jocelyn Lebow, R. D. Rienecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Accessible summary: What is known on the subject?: Weight suppression (WS) has been suggested to predict outcome following psychological treatment for an eating disorder (ED). Some findings are contradictory and have not been considered systematically. What the paper adds to existing knowledge?: The review suggests that weight gain at post-treatment is reliably predicted by pretreatment WS, but findings regarding other outcomes (e.g., treatment dropout) are less consistent. Approximate effect sizes for observed relationships are identified, alongside support for biobehavioural theories of metabolic adaptation to weight loss. What are the implications for practice?: Degree of WS at pretreatment is associated with weight gain and is important for clinicians to consider before offering treatment to patients with EDs. Patients high in WS might benefit from further support (e.g., psychoeducation) prior to beginning treatment. Introduction: Weight suppression (WS-the difference between highest body weight and current body weight) has been proposed as a predictor of treatment outcome within eating disorders (EDs), although this hypothesis has not been consistently supported. Aim/Question: Review the association between pretreatment WS and outcome following psychological treatment for EDs. Method: A comprehensive electronic database search for published and unpublished literature from 1979 to 2017. Reference lists were also inspected. Eligibility criteria were determined according to relevant guidelines and a quality appraisal was conducted. Results: Twelve studies met inclusion criteria (one was subsequently excluded based on insufficient data). Greater WS was generally associated with weight gain at post-treatment although not with other treatment outcomes. Discussion: The existing evidence, with data from 1,566 participants, is summarized according to three main post-treatment outcomes: weight change; treatment completion; and symptom abstinence. Patients with disordered eating and greater WS may need to gain more weight than others during treatment to achieve good outcomes. Recommendations for future studies are provided. Implications for practice: Evidence-based treatments for EDs may benefit from considering WS when planning treatment, such as further psychoeducation on weight changes. Societal interventions regarding promotion of healthy eating may also draw on these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Weights and Measures
Weight Gain
Therapeutics
Feeding and Eating Disorders
Body Weight
Psychology
Evidence-Based Practice
Weight Loss
Eating
Databases
Guidelines

Keywords

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Eating disorders
  • Treatment outcome
  • Weight suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

Cite this

Weight suppression as a predictor variable in the treatment of eating disorders : A systematic review. / Jenkins, P. E.; Lebow, Jocelyn; Rienecke, R. D.

In: Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Accessible summary: What is known on the subject?: Weight suppression (WS) has been suggested to predict outcome following psychological treatment for an eating disorder (ED). Some findings are contradictory and have not been considered systematically. What the paper adds to existing knowledge?: The review suggests that weight gain at post-treatment is reliably predicted by pretreatment WS, but findings regarding other outcomes (e.g., treatment dropout) are less consistent. Approximate effect sizes for observed relationships are identified, alongside support for biobehavioural theories of metabolic adaptation to weight loss. What are the implications for practice?: Degree of WS at pretreatment is associated with weight gain and is important for clinicians to consider before offering treatment to patients with EDs. Patients high in WS might benefit from further support (e.g., psychoeducation) prior to beginning treatment. Introduction: Weight suppression (WS-the difference between highest body weight and current body weight) has been proposed as a predictor of treatment outcome within eating disorders (EDs), although this hypothesis has not been consistently supported. Aim/Question: Review the association between pretreatment WS and outcome following psychological treatment for EDs. Method: A comprehensive electronic database search for published and unpublished literature from 1979 to 2017. Reference lists were also inspected. Eligibility criteria were determined according to relevant guidelines and a quality appraisal was conducted. Results: Twelve studies met inclusion criteria (one was subsequently excluded based on insufficient data). Greater WS was generally associated with weight gain at post-treatment although not with other treatment outcomes. Discussion: The existing evidence, with data from 1,566 participants, is summarized according to three main post-treatment outcomes: weight change; treatment completion; and symptom abstinence. Patients with disordered eating and greater WS may need to gain more weight than others during treatment to achieve good outcomes. Recommendations for future studies are provided. Implications for practice: Evidence-based treatments for EDs may benefit from considering WS when planning treatment, such as further psychoeducation on weight changes. Societal interventions regarding promotion of healthy eating may also draw on these findings.",
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