Superwellness Program: a cognitive-behavioral therapy-based group intervention to reduce weight gain in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs


Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr.




Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral therapy-based intervention (Superwellness Program) on weight gain compared with a treatment-as-usual (TAU) approach in patients treated with antipsychotics, and to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) variation and clinical variables. Method: Eighty-five patients treated with antipsychotics were allocated across two groups, experimental (n=59) and control (n=26). The Superwellness Program (experimental group) consisted of 32 twice-weekly 1-hour sessions, conducted by a psychologist and a nutritionist/nurse, concurrently with moderate food intake and moderate physical activity plans. Sociodemographic, clinical, and biological variables were collected at baseline, at the end of intervention (16 weeks), and after 6 months. Results: BMI change from baseline differed significantly between the experimental and control groups, with a larger decrease in the experimental group (F = 5.5, p = 0.021). Duration of illness moderated the effect of treatment on BMI (p = 0.026). No significant (p = 0.499) effect of intervention during the follow-up period was found. Interestingly, the intervention indirectly induced a significant (p = 0.024) reduction in metabolic risk by reducing BMI. Conclusion: A cognitive-behavioral therapy-based intervention could be useful in reducing weight in a clinical population taking antipsychotics, with consequent benefit to physical and mental health.

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