Does Motivational Interviewing Help Long-Term Outcomes for Obesity?

M Michalopoulou et al. Annals Int Med 2022; Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing in Managing Overweight and Obesity

This review and meta-analysis examined forty-six studies involving 11 077 participants.

Key findings:

  • At 6 months, behavior weight management programs (BWMPs) using motivational interviewing (MI) were more effective than no/minimal intervention (−0.88) but were not statistically significantly more effective than lower-intensity (−0.88 ) or similar-intensity (−1.36 ) BWMPs.
  • “At 1 year, data were too sparse to pool comparisons with no/minimal intervention, but MI did not produce statistically significantly greater weight change compared with lower-intensity”

My take: Several years ago our hospital system strongly encouraged practitioners to learn motivation interviewing techniques. However, based on this review, “there is no evidence that MI increases effectiveness of BWMPs in controlling weight.”

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