Little is known about how lifestyle affects psychological well-being in overweight women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We investigated the effects of behavioral modification on psychological well-being and the impact of well-being and personality traits on successful weight loss.
A 4-month randomized controlled trial with a 12-month follow-up at a University Hospital.
Sixty-eight women with PCOS, aged 18 to 40 years with a BMI ≥27 kg/m2, were randomized (1:1) into a behavioral modification program (intervention) or minimal intervention (control). The outcome measures were the psychological well being index and the Swedish universities scales of personality.
At baseline, 60% had a global psychological well being index corresponding to severe distress and 40% to moderate distress. There was no significant change in mean global well-being score at 4 months within or between groups. However, after 4 months, the intervention group expressed less anxiety (P = .035), higher general health (P = .012) and lower depressed mood (P = .033). Anxiety and general health tended to differ between groups (P = .06, respectively) favoring intervention. In the whole population, women achieving ≥5% weight loss at 12 months (n = 18) were less anxious at baseline compared to those who had not (P = .004). Personality trait-analysis showed that the weight-loss group had higher social desirability (P = .033) and lower embitterment (P = .023).
Psychological well-being is severely impacted in overweight women with PCOS. Behavioral modification can positively impact dimensions of well-being, although not fully significant, compared to control treatment. Personality factors could contribute to the understanding of successful weight loss.