Background: Drop-out is a major problem in weight loss studies. Although previous attrition research has examined some predictors of drop-out, theoretically grounded research on psychological predictors of drop-out from weight interventions has been lacking.
Purpose: To examine psychological predictors of drop-out from a weight reduction study in diabetes type 2 patients.
Method: A clinical trial was conducted with 101 overweight/obese (body mass index >27) diabetes type 2 patients. Patients were randomly assigned to a self-regulation intervention, an active control group, and a passive control group. Psychological, somatic, socio-demographic, and lifestyle variables were examined as predictors of drop-out from baseline to 6 months follow-up.
Results: Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that low autonomous regulation or low 'goal ownership' was the best predictor of drop-out.
Conclusion: It is suggested that the assessment of 'goal ownership' prior to a weight reduction intervention could identify patients who are sufficiently motivated to participate. Patients who score low on 'goal ownership' may be offered pretreatment interventions to increase their motivation.