Attrition in a behavioral weight‐control program: A comparison of dropouts and completers


Journal Article

A major problem in weight‐reduction programs is that a significant number of individuals terminate treatment prematurely. To help alleviate some of the problems associated with high attrition, it is important to understand the ways in which treatment dropouts are different from those individuals who complete a weight‐reduction program. In the present study 271 obese persons who participated in a Health Maintenance Organization's low‐cost behavioral program were evaluated. At the end of the 12‐session program, dropouts (N = 161) and completers (N = 110) were identified. Treatment dropouts were compared to treatment completers on the following variables: initial weight, percent overweight, age, sex, occupation, education, number of previous attempts to lose weight, plus scores on the eating questionnaires. The major finding was that dropouts did not differ much from completers. The largest difference between these two groups occurred with respect to reported occupations. The completer group contained significantly more women working in the home than the dropout group. Reasons for this finding were hypothesized. To prevent high attrition rates, further research is recommended, particularly on the role of cognitive factors in weight control. Copyright © 1983 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kolotkin, RL; Moore, JM

Published Date

  • January 1, 1983

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 93 - 100

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1098-108X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0276-3478

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/1098-108X(198321)2:3<93::AID-EAT2260020309>3.0.CO;2-Y

Citation Source

  • Scopus