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State of the art conference on weight management in VA: Policy and research recommendations for advancing behavioral interventions


This article summarizes outcomes of the behavioral interventions work group for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) State of the Art Conference (SOTA) for Weight Management. Sixteen VHA and non-VHA subject matter experts, representing clinical care delivery, research, and policy arenas, participated. The work group reviewed current evidence of efficacy, effectiveness, and implementation of behavioral interventions for weight management, participated in phone- and online-based consensus processes, generated key questions to address gaps, and attended an in-person conference in March 2016. The work group agreed that there is strong evidence for efficacy and effectiveness of core behavioral intervention components and processes, but insufficient evidence to determine the comparative effectiveness of multiple clinician-delivered weight management modalities, as well as technologies that may or may not supplement clinician-delivered treatments. Effective strategies for implementation of weight management services in VHA were identified. The SOTA work group's foremost policy recommendations are to establish a system-wide culture for weight management and to identify a population-level health metric to measure the impact of weight management interventions that can be tracked and clearly communicated throughout VHA. The work group's top research recommendation is to determine how to deploy and scale the most effective behavioral weight management interventions for Veterans.

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