The STRIDE weight loss and lifestyle intervention for individuals taking antipsychotic medications: a randomized trial

Am J Psychiatry. 2015 Jan;172(1):71-81. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14020173. Epub 2014 Oct 31.


Objectives: The STRIDE study assessed whether a lifestyle intervention, tailored for individuals with serious mental illnesses, reduced weight and diabetes risk. The authors hypothesized that the STRIDE intervention would be more effective than usual care in reducing weight and improving glucose metabolism.

Method: The study design was a multisite, parallel two-arm randomized controlled trial in community settings and an integrated health plan. Participants who met inclusion criteria were ≥18 years old, were taking antipsychotic agents for ≥30 days, and had a body mass index ≥27. Exclusions were significant cognitive impairment, pregnancy/breastfeeding, recent psychiatric hospitalization, bariatric surgery, cancer, heart attack, or stroke. The intervention emphasized moderate caloric reduction, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, and physical activity. Blinded staff collected data at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months.

Results: Participants (men, N=56; women, N=144; mean age=47.2 years [SD=10.6]) were randomly assigned to usual care (N=96) or a 6-month weekly group intervention plus six monthly maintenance sessions (N=104). A total of 181 participants (90.5%) completed 6-month assessments, and 170 (85%) completed 12-month assessments, without differential attrition. Participants attended 14.5 of 24 sessions over 6 months. Intent-to-treat analyses revealed that intervention participants lost 4.4 kg more than control participants from baseline to 6 months (95% CI=-6.96 kg to -1.78 kg) and 2.6 kg more than control participants from baseline to 12 months (95% CI=-5.14 kg to -0.07 kg). At 12 months, fasting glucose levels in the control group had increased from 106.0 mg/dL to 109.5 mg/dL and decreased in the intervention group from 106.3 mg/dL to 100.4 mg/dL. No serious adverse events were study-related; medical hospitalizations were reduced in the intervention group (6.7%) compared with the control group (18.8%).

Conclusions: Individuals taking antipsychotic medications can lose weight and improve fasting glucose levels. Increasing reach of the intervention is an important future step.

Trial registration: NCT00790517.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / chemically induced*
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*


  • Antipsychotic Agents

Associated data