Discrepancies between Clinician and Participant Intervention Adherence Ratings Predict Percent Weight Change during a Six-Month Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention

Michael P. Berry, Elisabeth M. Seburg, Meghan L. Butryn, Robert W. Jeffery, Melissa M. Crane, Rona L. Levy, Evan M. Forman, Nancy E. Sherwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Individuals receiving behavioral weight loss treatment frequently fail to adhere to prescribed dietary and self-monitoring instructions, resulting in weight loss clinicians often needing to assess and intervene in these important weight control behaviors. A significant obstacle to improving adherence is that clinicians and clients sometimes disagree on the degree to which clients are actually adherent. However, prior research has not examined how clinicians and clients differ in their perceptions of client adherence to weight control behaviors, nor the implications for treatment outcomes.

PURPOSE: In the context of a 6-month weight-loss treatment, we examined differences between participants and clinicians when rating adherence to weight control behaviors (dietary self-monitoring; limiting calorie intake) and evaluated the hypothesis that rating one's own adherence more highly than one's clinician would predict less weight loss during treatment.

METHODS: Using clinician and participant-reported measures of self-monitoring and calorie intake adherence, each assessed using a single item with a 7- or 8-point scale, we characterized discrepancies between participant and clinician adherence and examined associations with percent weight change over 6 months using linear mixed-effects models.

RESULTS: Results indicated that ratings of adherence were higher when reported by participants and supported the hypothesis that participants who provided higher adherence ratings relative to their clinicians lost less weight during treatment (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that participants in weight loss treatment frequently appraise their own adherence more highly than their clinicians and that participants who do so to a greater degree tend to lose less weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1014
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society of Behavioral Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Adherence
  • Calorie intake
  • Discrepancies
  • Self-monitoring
  • Weight loss
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Diet
  • Weight Loss
  • Humans
  • Health Behavior

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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