Worldwide prevalence of adult overweight and obesity is a growing public health issue. Adults with overweight/obesity often have chronic musculoskeletal pain. Using a mixed‐methods review, we aimed to quantify the effectiveness and explore the appropriateness of weight loss interventions for this population. Electronic databases were searched for studies published between 01/01/90 and 01/07/16. The review included 14 randomized controlled trials that reported weight and pain outcomes and three qualitative studies that explored perceptions of adults with co‐existing overweight/obesity and chronic musculoskeletal pain. The random‐effects pooled mean weight loss was 4.9 kg (95%CI:2.9,6.8) greater for intervention vs control. The pooled mean reduction in pain was 7.3/100 units (95%CI:4.1,10.5) greater for intervention vs control. Study heterogeneity was substantial for weight loss (I2 = 95%, tau = ±3.5 kg) and pain change (I2 = 67%, tau = ±4.1%). Meta‐regression slopes for the predictors of study quality, mean age and baseline mean weight on mean study weight reduction were shallow and not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The meta‐regression slope between mean pain reduction and mean weight lost was shallow, and not statistically significant, −0.09 kg per unit pain score change (95%CI:−0.21,0.40, P = 0.54). Meta‐synthesis of qualitative findings resulted in two synthesized findings; the importance of healthcare professionals understanding the effects of pain on ability to control weight and developing management/education programmes that address comorbidity.
- musculoskeletal pain
- weight loss