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Weight Loss Health Program - UK
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Weight Loss Health Program - UK

Weight Loss Study Background
The physiotherapist-led integrated complementary health and exercise program is for adults with severe obesity attending a Weight Management Clinic. The study utilises both quantitative and qualitative methods, including patients' experiences.
As one of the fastest growing public health problems in the United Kingdom, obesity carries with it several serious health risks, disabilities and an increased risk of premature death (NAO 2001). Eight million people in the United Kingdom are classified as obese. When energy input and energy expenditure match, the body is in equilibrium. Obesity represents an imbalance. Changes in lifestyle, such as reduced physical activity are implicated. A Merseyside Health Action Zone (HAZ) Fellowship sponsored the study.

Weight Loss Study Aim
The aim of this study was to evaluate an 8-session physiotherapist-led integrated health program. The core of this innovative program is an exercise circuit, with additional components including complementary therapies, relaxation, and stress management.

Weight Loss Study Method
The study used quantitative methods of evaluation: pedometers to count steps and a subjective Health Assessment (SF36) before and after the program which was analysed using SPSS, Excel and Access. Qualitative methods used triangulation, and semi-structured interviews after the program to explore patients' experiences of the program. Topological analysis was used.

Weight Loss Study Results
Forty people with severe obesity registered. They had a Body Mass Index (BMI) average of 49 (range 36 to 83). Twenty four of the forty participants (60 percent) completed the program. Patients benefited emotionally, socially and physically from the exercise circuit, yoga breathing exercises, and T'ai Chi. Reflex Therapy points on the thumb also helped some with appetite control. In a safe supportive group environment, patients consistently reported the value of being able to express how it actually feels to be overweight. Highly statistically significant was the increase in stride length, illustrated by the mean difference in stride length after the program, and all 8 domains of the SF36 Health Assessment showed a positive trend, of clinical significance. Of these, the improvement in Role Physical was statistically significant.

Weight Loss Study Conclusion
This study demonstrated that the completion of an eight session integrated program of complementary health and exercise improved the stride length, physical mobility and well-being of people with severe obesity.

Source: National Audit Office Report

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