Cognitive self-persuasion: Application for increasing program persistence in multi-disciplined professional weight loss clinics



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of the present investigation was to determine whether a significant relationship exists between the design of the new members' orientation program presented to new clients in six professional weight loss medical centers and the subsequent rate and proportion of overall client attrition. Subjects for the current investigation were 147 female clients between the ages of 20 to 70 years old. Clients in condition 1 ("Standard Treatment Control") participated in the existing multidiscipline weight loss program exactly as is. Clients in condition 2 ("Non-Participation Control") were offered, but refused, participation in a special new members' orientation program. Clients in condition 3 ("Time-Attention Control") attended a special new members' orientation program designed to provide clients with extra time and attention. Clients in condition 4 ("Motivation Enhancement Program") attended a special new members' orientation program designed to increase regular weekly class attendance.

Results of a nested analysis of variance procedure demonstrated a strong positive effect for treatment, together with a non-significant effect for centers. Post hoc Multiple F analyses further demonstrated that subjects participating in the Motivation Enhancement Program attended significantly more consecutive weeks of classes than subjects in the Standard Treatment Control group, the Non-Participation Control group, and the Time-Attention Control group. No significant differences were found between the Standard Treatment Control, Non-Participation Control, and Time-Attention Control groups.

Results of four separate chi square analyses of proportions further demonstrated the superiority of the Motivation Enhancement Program for significantly increasing the proportion of clients exhibiting an "active" class status as compared to either the Standard Treatment Control or Time-Attention Control group- In addition, it was further suggested that the Motivation Enhancement Program was also superior to the Non-Participation Control group for increasing the proportion of new clients demonstrating "active" class attendance during the study's 12-week experimental period.

Taken as a whole, the results of the current investigation appear to suggest both the importance and therapeutic value of the cognitive self-persuasion techniques employed in the design and implementation of the four-hour Motivation Enhancement Program.



Cognition, Obesity -- Psychological aspects, Attitude change, Behavior therapy