Journaling and Weight Loss

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00884195
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 20, 2009
Last Update Posted : July 11, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of California, Davis

Brief Summary:
This is a pilot study to evaluate the effect of keeping a 'gratitude journal' on the outcome of a weight loss program. All the subjects will be enrolled in the Lifesteps weight management program. The experimental group will maintain a gratitude journal and the control group will maintain a 'neutral' journal.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Behavioral: Gratitude Journaling Behavioral: Neutral Journaling Phase 1

Detailed Description:

Subjects who are referred to the Preventive Cardiology Program for weight management will be enrolled in the study after obtaining informed consent.

Subjects are enrolled into the program in groups of 10 to 12 every 6 weeks. Alternate groups will be will assigned to the two types of journaling. Each group will be given specific instructions related to the form of journaling assigned. These instructions will be in addition to the usual care prescribed in the Lifesteps® program. In the intervention group, patients will be introduced to gratitude journaling at the beginning of the 12 week class series and asked to journal each day. They will turn in their gratitude journal weekly. At the beginning of each weekly class, five minutes will be spent discussing the journaling.

The control groups will not receive the information on gratitude journaling, but instead will be asked to complete a neutral journal in which they will journal in a general manner regarding their experiences participating in the Lifesteps® weight management program. These will also be collected weekly. At the beginning of class, five minutes will be spent discussing the journaling.

There will be one consent form for the two groups. The instruction (either gratitude journaling or neutral journaling) that will be given to the subjects will reflect the group to which they have been randomized. Both types of journals will be reviewed initially, at mid-point and final by the psychologist (Robert Emmons) to verify the quality of reporting.

Routine tests- Weekly weights

Study Tests:

Pre/post depression: Beck Depression Inventory II; Pre/post Locus of Control: Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale; Pre/post SF 36 Quality of Life Questionnaire; Pre/post Gratitude Questionnaire

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 50 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Journaling and Weight Loss
Actual Study Start Date : January 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

U.S. FDA Resources

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: 1
Gratitude Journaling
Behavioral: Gratitude Journaling
Participants will be asked to write down 5 things every day for which they are grateful.
Placebo Comparator: 2
Neutral Journaling
Behavioral: Neutral Journaling
Participants will be asked to write down 5 things every day that they noticed about being involved in a weight loss program.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Weight loss [ Time Frame: 3 months ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Quality of Life [ Time Frame: 3 months ]
  2. Class attendance [ Time Frame: 3 months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • BMI>25
  • >18 years of age

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Severe psychiatric diagnosis which in the opinion of the PI would compromise participation in the study.
  • Addiction to alcohol and drugs

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00884195

United States, California
University of California, Davis Medical Center
Sacramento, California, United States, 95817
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, Davis
Principal Investigator: CT Kappagoda, MD, PhD University of California, Davis

Responsible Party: University of California, Davis Identifier: NCT00884195     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 200816667
First Posted: April 20, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 11, 2017
Last Verified: July 2017

Keywords provided by University of California, Davis:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Weight Loss
Body Weight Changes
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms