University of Leicester
2013LoaderKADClinPsy.pdf (4.59 MB)

A compassionate mind approach to self-help for treatment seeking obese adults: A randomised controlled trial

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posted on 2013-10-08, 12:49 authored by Kerrie Ann Loader
Obesity and overweight are global issues and the rate of obesity has more than doubled in the past 30 years. The financial and physical cost of obesity and overweight continues to rise. Obesity and overweight are characterised as relapsing conditions which can share psychopathology with eating disorders. This thesis intended to evaluate current psychological approaches to obesity and overweight which was under-researched. It explored a compassionate mind approach intervention for weight management which focused on psychosocial factors present in obesity and overweight. The systematic literature review evaluated psychological interventions for the treatment of obesity and overweight. Twelve articles were reviewed and assessed for methodological quality. The results demonstrated short-term treatment efficacy for behavioural therapy but the evidence for the most effective form of psychological intervention was inconclusive. There was no conclusive evidence that psychological interventions offered long-term weight-loss maintenance. A requirement for further research into psychological interventions for obesity and overweight using robust methodology was indicated. Methodological issues were considered which may have limited the conclusions of the review. The empirical study was a randomised control trial that lasted for six months. Thirty six participants received either compassionate mind approach guided self-help (GSH) or treatment as usual (TAU) in a dietetic clinic. Measures of shame, self-compassion, psychological wellbeing, disordered eating, physical activity and BMI were taken at pre and post-intervention. No statistically significant results were demonstrated for GSH or TAU in terms of these factors. Treatment effect sizes were observed for GSH regarding levels of external shame, self-compassion and preoccupation with shape and for TAU regarding levels of uncontrolled eating. The results suggested that eating psychopathology and psychosocial factors are relevant in treatment seeking obese populations and these should be explored when developing interventions. The study limitations, clinical implications and future research were discussed.



Allan, Steven; Goss, Ken

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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