It is well known that obesity has a multifactorial etiology, including biological, environmental, and psychological causes. For this reason, obesity treatment requires a more integrated approach than the standard behavioral treatment based on dietary and physical activity only. To test the long-term efficacy of an enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) of obesity, including a virtual reality (VR) module aimed at both unlocking the negative memory of the body and to modify its behavioral and emotional correlates, 163 female morbidly obese inpatients (body mass index >40) were randomly assigned to three conditions: a standard behavioral inpatient program (SBP), SBP plus standard CBT, and SBP plus VR-enhanced CBT. Patients' weight, eating behavior, and body dissatisfaction were measured at the start and upon completion of the inpatient program. Weight was assessed also at 1 year follow-up. All measures improved significantly at discharge from the inpatient program, and no significant difference was found among the conditions. However, odds ratios showed that patients in the VR condition had a greater probability of maintaining or improving weight loss at 1 year follow-up than SBP patients had (48% vs. 11%, p = 0.004) and, to a lesser extent, than CBT patients had (48% vs. 29%, p = 0.08). Indeed, only the VR-enhanced CBT was effective in further improving weight loss at 1 year follow-up. On the contrary, participants who received only the inpatient program regained back, on average, most of the weight they had lost. Findings support the hypothesis that a VR module addressing the locked negative memory of the body may enhance the long-term efficacy of standard CBT.

Manzoni, G. M., Cesa, G. L., Bacchetta, M., Castelnuovo, G., Conti, S., Gaggioli, A., Mantovani, F., Molinari, E., Cárdenas López, G., Riva, G., Virtual Reality-Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Morbid Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Study with 1 Year Follow-Up, <<CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING>>, 2016; 19 (2): 134-140. [doi:10.1089/cyber.2015.0208] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/74736]

Virtual Reality-Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Morbid Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Study with 1 Year Follow-Up

Manzoni
Primo
;
Gian Luca; Bacchetta;Monica; Castelnuovo;Sara; Gaggioli;Andrea; Mantovani;Fabrizia; Molinari;Georgina; Riva
Ultimo
2016

Abstract

It is well known that obesity has a multifactorial etiology, including biological, environmental, and psychological causes. For this reason, obesity treatment requires a more integrated approach than the standard behavioral treatment based on dietary and physical activity only. To test the long-term efficacy of an enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) of obesity, including a virtual reality (VR) module aimed at both unlocking the negative memory of the body and to modify its behavioral and emotional correlates, 163 female morbidly obese inpatients (body mass index >40) were randomly assigned to three conditions: a standard behavioral inpatient program (SBP), SBP plus standard CBT, and SBP plus VR-enhanced CBT. Patients' weight, eating behavior, and body dissatisfaction were measured at the start and upon completion of the inpatient program. Weight was assessed also at 1 year follow-up. All measures improved significantly at discharge from the inpatient program, and no significant difference was found among the conditions. However, odds ratios showed that patients in the VR condition had a greater probability of maintaining or improving weight loss at 1 year follow-up than SBP patients had (48% vs. 11%, p = 0.004) and, to a lesser extent, than CBT patients had (48% vs. 29%, p = 0.08). Indeed, only the VR-enhanced CBT was effective in further improving weight loss at 1 year follow-up. On the contrary, participants who received only the inpatient program regained back, on average, most of the weight they had lost. Findings support the hypothesis that a VR module addressing the locked negative memory of the body may enhance the long-term efficacy of standard CBT.
Inglese
Manzoni, G. M., Cesa, G. L., Bacchetta, M., Castelnuovo, G., Conti, S., Gaggioli, A., Mantovani, F., Molinari, E., Cárdenas López, G., Riva, G., Virtual Reality-Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Morbid Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Study with 1 Year Follow-Up, <<CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL NETWORKING>>, 2016; 19 (2): 134-140. [doi:10.1089/cyber.2015.0208] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/74736]
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