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Emotion regulation training in the treatment of obesity in young adolescents : protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Background: The prevalence rates of childhood obesity are increasing. The current multidisciplinary treatments for (childhood) obesity are effective but only moderately and in the short term. A possible explanation for the onset and maintenance of childhood obesity is that it reflects a maladaptive mechanism for regulating high levels of stress and emotions. Therefore, the current RCT study aims to test the effectiveness of adding an emotion regulation training to care as usual (multidisciplinary obesity treatment) in young inpatients (10–14) involved in an obesity treatment program compared to care as usual alone. The research model for this RCT study states that when high levels of stress are regulated in a maladaptive way, this can contribute to the development of obesity. Methods: The current study will recruit 140 youngsters (10–14 years) who are involved in an inpatient multidisciplinary obesity treatment (MOT) program. After giving consent to participate in the study, youngsters will be randomly assigned, during consecutive waves, to one of two conditions: care as usual (receiving MOT) or intervention (receiving MOT in addition to emotion regulation training). The training itself consists of 12 weekly sessions, followed by a booster session after 3 and 5 months. The participants will be tested pretraining, posttraining, and at 6 months’ follow-up. We hypothesize that, compared to the control condition, youngsters in the intervention condition will (1) use more adaptive emotion regulation strategies and (2) report less emotional eating, both primary outcome measures. Moreover, on the level of secondary outcome measures, we hypothesize that youngsters in the intervention condition, compared with the control condition, will (3) report better sleep quality, (4) undergo improved weight loss and weight loss maintenance, and (5) experience better long-term (6-months) psychological well-being. Discussion: This study will add to both the scientific and clinical literature on the role of emotion regulation in the development and maintenance of different psychopathologies, as emotion regulation is a transdiagnostic factor. Trial registration: The RCT study protocol is registered at ISRCTN Registry, with study ID “ISRCTN 83822934.” Registered on 13 December 2017.
Tijdschrift: TRIALS
ISSN: 1745-6215
Volume: 21
Jaar van publicatie:2020