Objective: Examining the effectiveness of psychological interventions in treating secondary psychological outcomes of obesity has become prioritized in recent times. The objective of the present study was to compare an eight-week Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) intervention program, in the treatment of food cravings and secondary psychological outcomes among overweight or obese adults (N = 83).
Method: A controlled non-inferiority trial was performed comparing group-delivered CBT to group-delivered EFT. Participants completed the Patient Health Questionnaire at pre- and post-intervention, and at six and 12-months follow-up.
Results: The CBT group did not report any significant changes in anxiety scores over time, but the decrease in depression symptoms pre-to post-intervention was significant and this was maintained at 6-and 12-months. Anxiety and depression scores significantly decreased from pre-to post-intervention for the EFT group, and was maintained at 6- and 12-month follow-up. Somatoform scores significantly decreased from pre-intervention to all follow-up points for the CBT group, while the EFT group did not report any significant changes in somatoform symptoms.
Results: also revealed that EFT is capable of producing reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms, and may be comparable to gold standard approaches such as CBT.
Conclusion: The current study supports the hypothesis that psychological intervention is beneficial for treating psychological comorbidities of obesity and points to the role mental health issues may play in this area.