This review aims to provide an overview of the factors associated with adherence reported in existing literature on lifestyle modification programs for weight management among the adult population. An electronic search was performed using PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO and PsycARTICLE to identify studies that examined the factors of adherence to lifestyle modification programs with explicit definition of adherence indicators. We identified 19 studies published between 2004 and 2016. The most commonly used indicator of adherence was attrition, followed by attendance, self-monitoring and dietary adherence. A broad array of factors has been studied but only few studies exploring each factor. Limited evidence suggested older age, higher education, healthier eating and physical activity behaviours, higher stage of change at baseline and higher initial weight loss may predict better adherence. On the other hand, having depression, stress, strong body shape concern, more previous weight loss attempts and being unemployed may predict poor adherence. Inconsistent findings were obtained for self-efficacy, motivation and male gender. This review highlights the need for more rigorous studies to enhance our knowledge on factors related to adherence. Identification of the factors of adherence could provide important implication for program improvement, ultimately improving the effectiveness and the cost-effectiveness of lifestyle modification program.
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