Author(s): Latner JD
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Abstract Despite the short-term success of professional behavioural techniques for obesity, weight losses are typically regained following treatment. The long-term maintenance of treatment effects will probably require ongoing, continuing care. Continuing care may be economically feasible when administered through self-help treatment modalities. Self-help confers a number of psychological benefits, such as self-reliance and an increased sense of empowerment. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of various modalities of self-help are reviewed, including purely self-prompted help, self-administered manuals, computer-assisted therapy, professionally assisted correspondence courses, and non-profit and commercial self-help groups. Stepped-care models suggest using a combination of these approaches when appropriate. However, logistical difficulties present themselves in stepped-care approaches with obesity, such as the complicating effects of severity and comorbidity on stepped-care status. Self-help groups are a promising venue for the provision of continuing care and as an adjunct to more intensive, specialty therapies.
This article was published in Obes Rev
and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education