In this article we discuss the traditional behavioral models of depression and some of the challenges analyzing a phenomenon with such complex and varied features. We present the traditional model and suggest that it does not capture the complexity of the phenomenon, nor do syndromal models of depression that dominate the mainstream conceptualization of depression. Instead, we emphasize ideographic analysis and present depression as a maladaptive dysregulation of an ultimately adaptive elicited emotional response. We emphasize environmental factors, specifically aversive control and private verbal events, in terms of relational frame theory, that may transform an adaptive response into a maladaptive disorder. We consider the role of negative thought processes and rumination, common and debilitating aspects of depression that have traditionally been neglected by behavior analysts.
Depression is associated with increased risk for obesity and worse weight loss treatment outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that delivering evidence-based behavior therapy for depression prior to a lifestyle weight loss intervention improves both weight loss and depression.
In a randomized controlled trial, obese women with major depressive disorder (N=161, mean age=45.9 [SD: 10.8] years) were randomized to brief behavior therapy for depression treatment followed by a lifestyle intervention (BA) or a lifestyle intervention only (LI). Follow-up occurred at 6- and 12-months. Main outcome measures included weight loss and depression symptoms.
Intention-to-treat analyses revealed both conditions lost significant weight, but no differences between conditions in weight change at 6-months (BA= −3.0%, SE= − 0.65%; LI=−3.7%, SE = 0.63%; p = 0.48) or 12-months (BA= −2.6%, SE= 0.77%; LI= −3.1%, SE=0.74%; p= 0.72). However, the BA condition evidenced significantly greater improvement in Beck Depression Inventory-II scores relative to the LI condition at both 6-months (BA mean change= −12.5, SD= 0.85; LI mean change= −9.2, SD=0.80, p= 0.005) and 12-months (BA mean change= −-12.6, SD= 0.97; LI mean change= −9.9, SD= 0.93; p = 0.045). Participants who experienced depression remission by 6-months (61.2%) lost greater weight (mean = −4.31%; SE=0.052) than those who did not (39.7%; mean= −2.47%, SE=0.53; p=.001).
Adding behavior therapy to a lifestyle intervention results in greater depression remission but does not improve weight loss within one year. Improvement in depression is associated with greater weight loss.
BackgroundChildhood obesity disproportionally affects children from low-income households. With the aim of informing interventions, this study examined pathways through which the physical and social home environment may promote childhood overweight/obesity in low-income households.MethodsData on health behaviors and the home environment were collected at home visits in low-income, urban households with either only normal weight (n = 48) or predominantly overweight/obese (n = 55) children aged 6–13 years. Research staff conducted comprehensive, in-person audits of the foods, media, and sports equipment in each household. Anthropometric measurements were collected, and children’s physical activity was assessed through accelerometry. Caregivers and children jointly reported on child sleep duration, screen time, and dietary intake of foods previously implicated in childhood obesity risk. Path analysis was used to test direct and indirect associations between the home environment and child weight status via the health behaviors assessed.ResultsSleep duration was the only health behavior associated with child weight status (OR = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.27, 0.77), with normal weight children sleeping 33.3 minutes/day longer on average than overweight/obese children. The best-fitting path model explained 26% of variance in child weight status, and included paths linking chaos in the home environment, lower caregiver screen time monitoring, inconsistent implementation of bedtime routines, and the presence of a television in children’s bedrooms to childhood overweight/obesity through effects on screen time and sleep duration.ConclusionsThis study adds to the existing literature by identifying aspects of the home environment that influence childhood weight status via indirect effects on screen time and sleep duration in children from low-income households. Pediatric weight management interventions for low-income households may be improved by targeting aspects of the physical and social home environment associated with sleep.
The current study investigated a behavior-analytic treatment, functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP), for outpatient depression utilizing two single-subject A/A+B designs. The baseline condition was cognitive behavioral therapy. Results demonstrated treatment success in 1 client after the addition of FAP and treatment failure in the 2nd. This study highlights the challenges in measuring treatment progress and outcome idiographically in this population.
BackgroundLifestyle interventions are efficacious at reducing risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease but have not had a significant public health impact given high cost and patient and provider burden.ObjectiveOnline social networks may reduce the burden of lifestyle interventions to the extent that they displace in-person visits and may enhance opportunities for social support for weight loss.MethodsWe conducted an iterative series of pilot studies to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of using online social networks to deliver a lifestyle intervention.ResultsIn Study 1 (n=10), obese participants with depression received lifestyle counseling via 12 weekly group visits and a private group formed using the online social network, Twitter. Mean weight loss was 2.3 pounds (SD 7.7; range -19.2 to 8.2) or 1.2% (SD 3.6) of baseline weight. A total of 67% (6/9) of participants completing exit interviews found the support of the Twitter group at least somewhat useful. In Study 2 (n=11), participants were not depressed and were required to be regular users of social media. Participants lost, on average, 5.6 pounds (SD 6.3; range -15 to 0) or 3.0% (SD 3.4) of baseline weight, and 100% (9/9) completing exit interviews found the support of the Twitter group at least somewhat useful. To explore the feasibility of eliminating in-person visits, in Study 3 (n=12), we delivered a 12-week lifestyle intervention almost entirely via Twitter by limiting the number of group visits to one, while using the same inclusion criteria as that used in Study 2. Participants lost, on average, 5.4 pounds (SD 6.4; range -14.2 to 3.9) or 3.0% (SD 3.1) of baseline weight, and 90% (9/10) completing exit interviews found the support of the Twitter group at least somewhat useful. Findings revealed that a private Twitter weight-loss group was both feasible and acceptable for many patients, particularly among regular users of social media.ConclusionsFuture research should evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of online social network-delivered lifestyle interventions relative to traditional modalities.
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