for people ages 18-69 (full criteria)
at San Diego, California and other locations
study started
estimated completion



The proposed study is a cohort-randomized controlled trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-enhanced ShipShape (ACT+SS) compared to the standard ShipShape-only program, for overweight or obese Navy personnel. As a result of COVID-19, this study is now being conducted virtually.

Official Title

An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-Enhanced Weight Management and Fitness Program for Navy Personnel


The proposed study is a cohort-randomized controlled trial of ACT-enhanced SS (ACT+SS) compared to the SS-only program. Cohorts of Navy personnel who are failing or at risk of failing the body composition assessment (BCA) or who are overweight/obese will be randomized to receive 8 weekly ACT+SS intervention groups or 8 weekly SS-only intervention groups. The scientific aims are to: 1) determine the effectiveness of ACT+SS compared to the SS-only program; 2) examine psychological flexibility as a mechanism underlying intervention response; and 3) explore potential moderators of intervention response. The primary outcome is weight loss.

Secondary outcomes include BMI, body fat %, indices of physical activity, problem eating, functioning and quality of life, emotional functioning and indices of psychological flexibility, measured at baseline, mid- and post-intervention, and 3- and 6-month follow-up and self- reported BCA status at 6-month follow-up. The investigators have purposefully designed a cohort-randomized trial with interventions that are pragmatically implemented in a real-life military setting, and outcomes that are immediately relevant to service members and leadership. The cohort randomization is essential to the feasibility and acceptability of the research in this setting. The military-relevant and generalizable findings are more likely to have impact within the military. SS provides an ideal comparison arm that is the current standard of practice in the Navy. Integrating ACT with SS in this setting overcomes many of the logistical, practical, chain-of-command, and other challenges that have typically impeded research in the military. The investigators have thoughtfully selected primary and secondary outcomes that are theoretically linked, and additional assessments that are empirically-based and will allow better understanding of mediators and moderators of intervention response in Navy personnel. Due to Covid-19 we have adapted the interventions to be administered virtually.


Obesity, Overweight, Military, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Weight-management, Navy Personnel, Fitness, ACT Enhanced ShipShape, ACT enhanced ShipShape (ACT +SS)


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-69

  • Navy Personnel who are overweight/obese or have failed or are at risk of failing the BCA
  • 18-69 years of age
  • Willingness to participate in the study

You CAN'T join if...

- Any physical limitations (injuries, pregnancy, etc.) that preclude engagement in the physical fitness activities


  • Veterans Medical Research Foundation
    San Diego California 92161 United States
  • Naval Medical Center San Diego
    San Diego California 92134 United States


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Veterans Medical Research Foundation
Study Type
About 178 people participating
Last Updated