BACKGROUND: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is high amongst healthcare professionals and there is growing interest in delivering weight loss interventions in the workplace. We conducted a systematic review to (i) examine the effectiveness of workplace-based diet and/or physical activity interventions aimed at healthcare professionals and to (ii) identify and describe key components of effective interventions. Seven electronic databases were systematically searched.
RESULTS: Thirteen randomised controlled trials met the inclusion criteria, of which seven had data available for meta-analysis. Where meta-analysis was possible, studies were grouped according to length of follow-up (<12 months and ≥12 months) and behavioural target (diet only, physical activity only or diet and physical activity), with outcome data pooled using a weighted random effects model. Nine studies reported statistically significant (between-group) differences. Four studies reported being informed by a behaviour change theory. Meta-analysis of all trials reporting weight data demonstrated healthcare professionals allocated to dietary and physical activity interventions lost significantly more body weight (-3.95 Kg, [95% CI -4.96 to- 2.95 Kg]) than controls up to 12 months follow up.
CONCLUSIONS: Workplace diet and/or physical activity interventions targeting healthcare professionals are limited in number and are heterogeneous. To improve the evidence base, we recommend additional evaluations of theory-based interventions and adequate reporting of intervention content.
- Journal Article