Intensive Behavioural Therapy Plus Liraglutide Shows Positive Results for Weight Loss
February 25, 2020

Intensive behavioural therapy (IBT) combined with liraglutide can produce clinically meaningful weight loss in patients who receive the treatment in primary care settings, according to a study published in Obesity.

“This is an impressive outcome, given the brief duration of the counselling visits and the fact that participants were treated in primary care setting[s], without the need to enrol in a group weight loss program at an academic medical centre or another setting,” said Thomas A. Wadden, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For the study, Dr. Wadden and colleagues enrolled 282 adults with obesity from 17 sites across the United States. Of the sites, 4 were obesity‐specialty practices, while the remaining 13 were characterised as family, general, or internal medicine practices. Over 56 weeks, all participants received 23 brief (15 minute) individual counselling sessions of IBT delivered by registered dietitians following a detailed treatment protocol. In addition to IBT, participants were randomised to receive either liraglutide 3 mg (n = 142) or placebo (n = 140).

The researchers found that after 56 weeks, mean weight loss with liraglutide 3 mg plus IBT was 7.5% versus 4% with placebo plus IBT. Significantly more individuals taking liraglutide 3 mg than placebo achieved ≥5% weight loss (61.5% vs 38.8%; odds ratio [OR] = 2.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5%-4.1%]; P = .0003), >10% weight loss (30.5% vs 19.8%; OR = 1.8%; 95% CI, 1%-3.1%; P = .0469), and >15% weight loss (18.1% vs 8.9%; OR = 2.3%; 95% CI, 1.1%-4.7%; P = .0311).

“These 2 treatment approaches appear to have complementary mechanisms of action,” noted Jena Shaw Tronieri, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

The study also found that weight loss in both treatment groups was associated with improvements in quality of life, as well as measures of cardiometabolic risk factors including waist circumference, triglyceride levels, and haemoglobin A1C.

“[Our results show that] registered dietitians, health counsellors, and other professionals could be trained to deliver IBT independently, which would help expand access to this critical intervention and, ultimately, help the millions of Americans who struggle with obesity and its associated health complications,” concluded Dr. Wadden.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22726

SOURCE: The Obesity Society