The effects of an educational intervention on antipsychotic-induced weight gain

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2003;35(3):237-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2003.00237.x.


Purpose: To assess the effect of an educational intervention on antipsychotic-induced weight gain among patients with schizophrenia.

Design and methods: Quasi-experimental. Seventy patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder entered this 6-month study condicted in the United States. All participants began receiving olanzapine treatment when they entered the study. The patients were then randomly assigned to an intervention group or a standard care group. Over the next 4-months, the intervention group participated in weekly psychoeducation classes focused on nutrition, exercise, and living a healthy lifestyle. Patients were followed for an additional 2 months to assess weight change.

Findings: A statistically significant difference in weight change between the two groups was observed post-treatment and at endpoint. At endpoint, the mean weight change of the intervention group was -.06 pounds, while the mean weight change in the standard care group was 9.57 pounds. In both groups, men gained significantly more weight than did women.

Conclusions: The results indicate that a structured educational intervention might have a positive effect on antipsychotic-induced weight gain among patients with schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nutritional Sciences / education
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / diagnosis
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Olanzapine
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Pirenzepine / adverse effects*
  • Pirenzepine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy
  • Self-Help Groups / organization & administration
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Pirenzepine
  • Olanzapine