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Biopsychosocial Medicine (1)
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Deter, Hans-Christian (2)
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Pfeiffer, Andreas F.H. (1)
Stroux, Andrea (1)
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Attachment style contributes to the outcome of a multimodal lifestyle intervention
Background & Aims
The long-term success of life-style interventions in the treatment of obesity is limited. Although psychological factors have been suggested to modify therapeutic effects, specifically the implications of attachment styles and the patient-therapist relationship have not been examined in detail yet.
This study included 44 obese patients who participated in a one-year multimodal weight-reduction program. Attachment style was analyzed by the Adult Attachment Prototype Rating (AAPR) inventory and its relation to a one-year weight reduction program was studied. The patient-therapist-relationship was assessed using the Helping Alliance Questionnaire.
Attachment style was secure in 68% of participants and insecure (preoccupied and dismissing) in 32%. Interestingly a significantly higher weight-reduction was found in securely (SAI) compared to insecurely attached individuals (UAI; p < 0.05). This estimation correlated positively also to the quality of helping alliance (p = 0.004).
The frequency of insecure attachment in obese individuals was comparable to that of the normal population. Our data suggest a greater weight-reduction for SAI than for UAI, and the patient-therapist relationship was rated more positively. The conclusion can be drawn that a patient's attachment style plays a role in an interdisciplinary treatment program for obesity and has an influence on the effort to lose weight.
attachment style; obesity; patient-therapist relationship; weight reduction
Psychodynamic mechanism and weight reduction in obesity group therapy – first observations with different attachment styles
Pfeiffer, Andreas F.H.
Objectives: Successful long-term results are extremely rare in non-surgical obesity treatment. Interactional difficulties with the attending physicians and the limited compliance of obese patients are a frequently described dilemma in repeated psychotherapeutic group treatment attempts. The type of relationship initiation and the attachment behavior probably play a central role in this connection but have not yet been systematically investigated.
Methods: This paper focuses on the attachment styles of obese subjects and their effects on psychodynamic group therapy within the context of a weight-reduction program.
Results: The attachment styles are characterized in 107 pre-obese and obese patients, and their effects on patients and therapists in group therapy are described.
Conclusion: The paper surveys the motivational situation, clinical pictures, and repeated group topics.
obesity; attachment styles; psychotherapy; group; therapist
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