Pilot trial of a group cognitive behavioural therapy program for comorbid depression and obesity

Taryn Lores, Michael Musker, Kathryn Collins, Anne Burke, Seth W. Perry, Ma Li Wong, Julio Licinio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Depression and obesity are significant global health concerns that commonly occur together. An integrated group cognitive behavioural therapy program was therefore developed to simultaneously address comorbid depression and obesity. Methods: Twenty-four participants (63% women, mean age 46 years) who screened positively for depression with a body mass index ≥25 were recruited from a self-referred general population sample. The group therapy program (10 two-hour weekly sessions) was examined in a single-arm, before-after pilot trial, conducted in a behavioural health clinic in Adelaide, Australia. Primary outcomes included survey and assessment-based analyses of depression, anxiety, body image, self-esteem, and weight (kg), assessed at four time-points: baseline, post-intervention, three-months and 12-months post program. Eighteen participants (75%) completed the program and all assessments. Results: Significant improvements in depression, anxiety, self-esteem and body shape concern scores, several quality of life domains, eating behaviours and total physical activity (among others)-but not weight-were observed over the course of the trial. Conclusions: Results from this pilot trial suggest that combining interventions for depression and obesity may be useful. Further development of the program, particularly regarding the potential for physical health benefits, and a randomised controlled trial, are warranted. Trial registration: Trial registration: ANZCTR, ACTRN12617001079336, 13 July 2017. Retrospectively registered after date of the first consent (6 July 2017), but before the date of the first intervention session (20 July 2017).

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • CBT
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Comorbid
  • Depression
  • Emotional health
  • Obesity
  • Psychotherapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Pilot trial of a group cognitive behavioural therapy program for comorbid depression and obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this