Sex Moderates Treatment Effects of Integrated Collaborative Care for Comorbid Obesity and Depression: The RAINBOW RCT

Nan Lv, Lan Xiao, Lisa G. Rosas, Elizabeth M. Venditti, Joshua M. Smyth, Megan A. Lewis, Mark B. Snowden, Corina R. Ronneberg, Leanne M. Williams, Ben S. Gerber, Olusola A. Ajilore, Aashutos S. Patel, Jun Ma

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2 Scopus citations


Background: Sex influences health and related behaviors due to biological and psychosocial/socioeconomic factors. Assessing sex-specific responses to integrated treatment for comorbid obesity and depression could inform intervention targeting. Purpose: To test (a) whether sex moderates the effects of integrated collaborative care on weight and depression outcomes through 24 months and (b) whether treatment response at 6 months predicts 12 and 24 month outcomes by sex. Methods: Secondary data analyses on weight and depression severity (SCL-20) measured over 24 months among 409 adults with obesity and depression in the Research Aimed at Improving Both Mood and Weight trial. Results: Men achieved significantly greater weight reductions in intervention versus usual care than women, whereas women achieved significantly greater percentage reductions in SCL-20 than men at both 12 and 24 months. In logistic models, at 80% specificity for correctly identifying participants not achieving clinically significant long-term outcomes, women who lost <3.0% weight and men who lost <4.1% weight at 6 months had ≥84% probability of not meeting 5% weight loss at 24 months. Similarly, at 80% specificity, women who reduced SCL-20 by <39.5% and men who reduced by <53.0% at 6 months had ≥82% probability of not meeting 50% decrease in SCL-20 at 24 months. Conclusions: Sex modified the integrated treatment effects for obesity and depression. Sex-specific responses at 6 months predicted clinically significant weight loss and depression outcomes through 24 months. Based on early responses, interventions may need to be tailored to address sex-specific barriers and facilitators to achieving healthy weight and depression outcomes at later time points. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT02246413 (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1167
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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