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Hayes JF, Hoggatt KJ, Breland JY. Mental Health Diagnostic Patterns in Behavioral Weight Loss Program Attendees. Military medicine. 2020 Aug 14; 185(7-8):e1263-e1270.
INTRODUCTION: Individuals with obesity have higher rates of mental health disorders, both singly and in combination, than individuals of normal weight. Mental health disorders may negatively impact weight loss treatment outcomes; however, little is known about the mental health burden of individuals using weight loss programs. The current study identifies common mental health diagnostic profiles among participants of MOVE!-the Veterans Health Administration's behavioral weight loss program. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We used national VHA administrative data from fiscal year 2014 to identify veteran primary care patients who participated in at least one MOVE! session the previous year (n = 110,830). Using latent class analysis, we identified patient types (classes) characterized by the presence or absence of mental health diagnoses, both overall and stratified by age and gender. RESULTS: There were several patient types (classes), including psychologically healthy, predominantly depressed, depressed with co-occurring mental disorders, and co-occurring mental disorders with no predominant psychological condition. Additional patient types were found in men of different ages. The majority of patients had at least one psychiatric disorder, particularly younger patients. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to improve patients' engagement in the MOVE! program may need to address barriers to care associated with mental health disorders or incorporate care for both obesity and mental health diagnoses in MOVE! A holistic approach may be particularly important for younger patients who have a higher comorbidity burden and longer care horizons. Future work may address if patient types found in the current study extend to non-VHA obesity treatment seekers.