(HealthDay News) – Extended patient care has a moderate effect on long-term maintenance of weight loss.

Kathryn M. Ross Middleton, of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues reviewed the literature and identified 463 articles on the effect of extended care on maintenance of weight loss. A total of 11 studies were included in a meta-analysis and two additional studies were included for qualitative analysis.

The researchers found that there was a significant average effect of extended care on weight loss maintenance (g=0.385). This correlated with an additional 3.2kg of weight loss over an average of 17.6 months post-intervention, compared with controls who received no extended care. No significant heterogeneity was seen between the studies and minimal evidence was found for publication bias.

“The current review supports the use of extended care for the long-term maintenance of weight loss, with a moderate effect found for impact of extended care on long-term weight loss maintenance,” the authors write. “The focus of continuing research should not be on whether or not to provide extended care, but how to improve these programs.”

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)