Table 3

Summary characteristics and outcomes of weight management interventions (further details are presented in online supplementary files 2–8

BMI (kg/m2)WC (cm)WT (kg)
Study IDStudy characteristicsNDescriptionMean change from baseline§SD/95% CIMean change from baseline§SDMean change from baseline§SD/95% CIGlobal quality rating*Effectiveness†Cost-effectivenessDifferential effects‡
Ahrens et al41 2011Design: RCT
Duration: 22 weeks¶
Country: USA
Number of pharmacies: 1
Number of participants: 95
Mean age: I: 47.6; C: 47.8
% female: 87
Baseline BMI: I: 29.5; C: 29.0
45Meal replacement dietNRNR−8.08NR−5.6NRWeakNRNR
43Low calorie dietNRNR−7.82NR−5.2NR
Bush et al42Design: CBA
Duration: 15 weeks¶
Country: UK
Number of pharmacies: 12
Number of participants: 451
Mean age: I: 38.9; C: 42.6
% female: I: 87; C: 85
Baseline BMI: I: 33.0; C: 35.6
60Pharmacy-based diet + physical activity−1.30.4−6.51.6−3.41.1Weak?Unclear which service was more cost effectiveYes, demographics of participants differed significantly between settings
22GP-based diet + physical activity−0.80.7−4.92.6−2.31.9
Jolly et al43**Design: RCT
Duration: 52 weeks¶
Country: UK
Number of pharmacies:NR
Number of participants: 740
Mean age: Ph: 48.9; Ex: 49.7; WW: 50.7; SW: 48.8;RC: 48.8; NHS SD: 48.8; GP: 50.5; POC: 47.5
% female: Ph: 73; Ex: 75; WW: 72; SW: 65; RC: 69; NHS SD: 64; GP: 67; POC: 70
Baseline BMI: P: 33.4; Ex: 33.9; WW: 34.0; SW: 33.8; RC: 33.4; NHS SD: 33.8; GP: 33.1; POC: 33.4
70Pharmacy-based diet + physical activity−0.31−0.7 to 0.0NRNR−0.66−1.7 to 0.4ModerateCost analysis only,
commercial organisations lower cost than GP and pharmacy-based services
No (gender)
100Exercise only control−0.45−0.8 to −0.1NRNR−1.08−2.1 to −0.1
100Weight Watchers−1.17−1.7 to −0.7NRNR−3.46−4.8 to −2.1
100Slimming World−0.71−1.0 to −0.4NRNR−1.89−2.9 to −0.9
100Rosemary Conley−0.75−1.1 to −0.3NRNR−2.12−3.4 to −0.9
100NHS Size Down−0.67−1.0 to −0.3NRNR−2.45−3.6 to −1.3
70GP−0.32−0.7 to 0.1NRNR−0.83−2.0 to 0.4
100Participants own choice −0.90−1.3 to −0.5NRNR−2.15−3.4 to −0.9
Malone and Alger-Mayer44Design: nRCT
Duration: 26 weeks¶
Country: USA
Number of pharmacies: NR
Number of participants: 30
Mean age: I: 44.9; C: 42.8
% female: I: 93; C: 80
Baseline BMI: I: 48.3; C: 42.8
15Pharmacist support + orlistat + usual outpatient careNRNRNRNR−3.52.9WeakNRNR
15orlistat + usual outpatient careNRNRNRNR−3.05.2
Phimarn et al45Design: RCT
Duration: 16 weeks¶
Country: Thailand
Number of pharmac ies: 1
Number of participants: 66
Mean age: I: 60.1; C: 59.1
% female: I: 75.8; C: 84.8
Baseline BMI: I: 27.5; C: 27.7
33Pharmacist individual support−−0.820.29StrongNRNR
33Primary care unit group support0.190.04−
  • *Global rating: ‘strong’=no ‘weak’ ratings, ‘moderate’=one ‘weak’ rating and ‘weak’=two or more ‘weak’ ratings.

  • †Effectiveness was assessed using between group differences.

  • ‡Differential effects: age, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status (education, income, occupation, social class, deprivation or poverty).

  • **All intervention groups in the Jolly trial were compared to the exercise only control group (intervention groups were not directly compared).

  • §p Values were extracted directly from the study papers and relate to between group differences.

  • ¶From baseline to last follow-up.

  • ↓, intervention not effective; ↑, intervention effective; ↔, no statistically significant between group difference; ?, unable to assess effectiveness/cost-effectiveness; BMI, body mass index; C, control group; CBA, controlled before-after study; Ex, exercise only control; GP, general practitioner; NHS SD, NHS Size Down; NHS, National Health Service; NR, not reported; nRCT, non-randomised controlled trial; NS, non-significant; Ph, Pharmacy-based diet + physical activity; POC, participants own choice; RC, Rosemary Conley; RCT, randomised controlled trial; SW, Slimming World; WC, waist circumference; WT, weight; WW, Weight Watchers.