Engaging Self-regulation Targets to Improve Mood and Weight and Understand Mechanism in Depressed and Obese Adults


Trial ID: NCT03841682


Multimorbidity (i.e., the coexistence of 2 or more chronic conditions in an individual) is increasingly recognized as a pressing public health problem. Effective interventions targeting coexisting depression and obesity are critical given the high prevalence and worsened outcomes for patients with both conditions. ENGAGE-2 is a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT). The objective is to investigate the outcomes and mechanisms of an integrated depression and obesity intervention that combines collaborative stepped depression treatment and evidence-based behavioral weight loss treatment. The Integrated Coaching for Better Mood and Weight-2 (I-CARE2) intervention synergistically integrates 2 proven national programs: the Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) for depression care and the Group Lifestyle Balance (GLB) program for weight loss and cardiometabolic risk reduction. In Phase 1 of the ENGAGE project, investigators developed a new protocol to quantify activation and connectivity of the Affective, Cognitive Control, and Default Mode brain circuits from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) among 108 depressed obese patients. Investigators implement the same fMRI protocol in this second phase of the project to examine the mechanistic role of these brain circuits as potential neural targets in treatment engagement and response in the I-CARE2 intervention. A new sample of 105 depressed obese patients are randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive the I-CARE2 intervention (n=70) or usual care (n=35). Study assessments occur at 0 (baseline), 2 and 6 months. Investigators hypothesize that 1 or more of the neural targets under study will moderate (baseline state) and/or mediate (change at follow-up) the effect of the I-CARE2 intervention versus usual care on health behaviors (problem-solving ability, dietary intakes, physical activity) and clinical outcomes (weight loss, depression, anxiety).

Official Title

Engaging Self-Regulation Targets to Understand the Mechanism of Behavior Change and Improve Mood and Weight Outcomes- Second Phase (ENGAGE-2)

Stanford Investigator(s)

Kenneth Mahaffey
Kenneth Mahaffey

Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine)


Inclusion Criteria:

   - Age: ≥18 years

   - Body mass index based on study measurements at baseline group orientation: ≥30.0 kg/m2
   (≥27.0 if Asian), and weight <350 pounds (due to fMRI scanner size limitations)

   - Elevated depressive symptoms as per 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) scores
   ≥10 on study screening

   - UI Health patient seen in primary care at least once in the preceding 18 months

   - Able and willing to enroll and provide written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

   - Active suicidal ideation based on PHQ-9 or the 20-item depression symptom checklist
   (SCL-20) that includes active plan and/or intent

   - Any other psychiatric disorder other than persistent depressive disorder and/or major
   depressive disorder, with the exception of any comorbid anxiety disorder

   - Active Bulimia Nervosa within the past 3 months (however Binge Eating Disorder without
   purging is not an exclusionary condition)

   - Active alcohol or substance use disorder (including prescription drugs)

   - Currently under the care of a psychiatrist or licensed mental health therapist outside
   of UI Health

   - Had bariatric surgery (e.g., bypass, banding, sleeve, or biliopancreatic diversion
   with duodenal switch) within the past 12 months or plan to undergo bariatric surgery
   during the study period

   - Pre-existing diabetes (other than during pregnancy)

   - Pre-existing cardiovascular disease: e.g., coronary heart disease (myocardial
   infarction, angina pectoris, percutaneous coronary intervention, and coronary artery
   bypass graft surgery), cerebrovascular disease (stroke, transient ischemic attack),
   peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, or aortic aneurysm.

   - Diagnosis of cancer (other than non-melanoma skin cancer) that is/was active or
   treated with radiation or chemotherapy within the past year

   - Severe medical comorbidities that require aggressive treatment, e.g., stage 4 or
   greater renal disease, and liver failure

   - Diagnosis of a terminal illness and/or residence in a long-term care facility

   - Cognitive impairment based on the Callahan 6-item screener

   - MRI is contraindicated (weight over 350 pounds, traumatic brain injury, tumor or any
   other known structural abnormality in brain, bullet, shrapnel, or other projectile
   above the shoulder, not being able to lie down in an fMRI scanner for about an hour
   due to claustrophobia, personal history of epilepsy, convulsions, or seizures, have
   piercings that cannot be removed)

   - Traumatic brain injury; Tumor or any other known structural abnormality in brain

   - Inability to speak, read or understand English

   - No reliable telephone service, or no regular Internet access via a computer and/or
   mobile device (e.g., smartphone)

   - Plan to move out of the area or transfer care outside UI Health during the study

   - Currently pregnant, lactating, or planning to become pregnant during the study period

   - Already enrolled, or planning to enroll, in another medical or behavioral intervention
   research study

   - Family/household member of another participant or of a staff member

   - Investigator discretion for clinical safety or protocol adherence reasons


behavioral: I-CARE2


Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305