Research on weight management for people with learning difficulties is limited. We ran a pilot study to assess the feasibility of running a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a behavioural weight management intervention, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit programme. This intervention (Shape-Up LD) has been specially adapted for people with learning disabilities, and is based on a programme used widely in Primary Care developed by the charity Weight Concern. Participants were assigned to either manual-based Shape-Up LD groups (run by staff from UCL and Learning Disabilities Services) or usual care, and were followed up at 3 and 6 months. Adults with LD were enthusiastic about the programme, as were carers and trained facilitators from LD services. Those who participated in the programme were lighter than those who received usual care at the end of the programme, and this benefit appeared to continue even after the groups had finished. Camden & Islington Public Health are currently running groups with a version of the programme adapted for young people with LD in local schools, which we are evaluating in collaboration with Weight Concern.
Collaborators: Sally Fovargue (Anglian Community Enterprise), Angela Hassiotis, Michael King, Rachael Hunter & Rumana Omar (PRIMENT), Weight Concern, Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust, Camden & Islington Public Health