• Article

The efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a community weight management intervention


Hersey, J. C., Khavjou, O., Strange, L. B., Atkinson, R. L., Blair, S. N., Campbell, S., ... Britt, M. (2012). The efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a community weight management intervention: A randomized controlled trial of the health weight management demonstration. Preventive Medicine, 54(1), 42-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.09.018, 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.09.018


Purpose. The study investigated the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral weight management program, complemented by an interactive Web site and brief telephone/e-mail coaching.

Methods. In 2006-2007, 1755 overweight, non-active-duty TRICARE beneficiaries were randomized to one of three conditions with increasing intervention intensity: written materials and basic Web access (RCT1), plus an interactive Web site (RCT2), plus brief telephone/e-mail coaching support (RCT3). The study assessed changes in weight, blood pressure, and physical activity from baseline to 6,12, and 15-18 months. (Study retention was 31% at 12 months.) Average and incremental cost-effectiveness and cost-offset analyses were conducted.

Results. Participants experienced significant weight loss (-4.0%, -4.0%, and -53%, respectively, in each RCT group after 12 months and -3.5%, -3.8%, and -5.1%, respectively, after 15 to 18 months), increased physical activity, and decreased blood pressure. Cost-effectiveness ratios were $900 to $1100/quality-adjusted life year (QALY) for RCT1 and RCT2 and $1900/QALY for RCT3. The cost recovery period to the government was 3 years for RCT's 1 and 2 and 6 years for RCT3.

Conclusion. A relatively inexpensive cognitive-behavioral weight management intervention improved patient outcomes. Extrapolation of savings for the entire TRICARE population would significantly reduce direct medical costs. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.