A BEhavioural WEight Loss Intervention delivered in Cardiac Rehabilitation for patients with Atrial Fibrillation and obesity: The BeWEL IN CR–AF Study


People with AFib who also have higher body weight can get relief from their symptoms if they lose about 10% of their weight. Research shows that one way to lose a moderate amount of weight and keep it off is by participating in behavioural weight loss treatment (BWLT). BWLT is a group-based therapy program that uses psychology to teach people how to manage their eating better, increase their physical activity, and maintain other healthy behaviours.

The purpose of this research study is to test if a BWLT program modified for people with AFib will result in a greater amount of cardiac rehabilitation patients losing 10% of their body weight compared to cardiac rehab patients who receive treatment as usual. We also want to know if people who take part in BWLT experience any changes in AFib symptoms, related health outcomes, and psychological health.

If you choose to participate in this study, our team will randomize you to participate in either the experimental or control group. If you're in the experimental group, you'll receive both the regular Total Cardiology rehabilitation program and the BWLT program, consisting of twelve 2-hour group-based weekly sessions that are provided virtually using Zoom. If you are in the control group, you will receive the standard Total Cardiology rehabilitation program.

If you are in the experimental group, you will be provided with a Fitbit Aria Scale and Charge 5 fitness tracker that will be yours to keep at the end of the study. All participants will receive a Kardia EKG device to record 2 daily ECG tracings for the duration of the study.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please speak with your cardiology healthcare team. Your cardiologist can determine if you would be eligible to participate.


Currently recruiting participants: Yes

Eligible gender: Male, Female, Transgender, Other

Eligible ages: 18 to 75

Accepts healthy participants: Yes

Inclusion criteria:

The following are general eligibility criteria; however, there are other conditions that may make you eligible or ineligible to participate.

1) Referred to the study by a cardiologist
2) >18 years
3) Diagnosed with atrial fibrillation by a cardiologist
4) Symptomatic paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter within the past year
5) Body Mass Index (BMI) > 30
6) Sedentary lifestyle (physical activity < 150 minutes/week)
7) Have another comorbid medical condition (may include but not limited to hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea)
8) Willing to be referred to a behavioural weight loss treatment

Exclusion criteria:

The following are general criteria which may make you ineligible to participate, however, there are other conditions which may make you eligible or ineligible to participate.

1) Longstanding-persistent (> 3 years) or permanent atrial fibrillation
2) Completed cardiac rehabilitation program within the previous year
3) Currently enrolled in a structured behavioural weight loss program (e.g., Noom, Dr. Bernstein., you can stop participating in such a program for the duration of the study, and restart it if you wish after the study has ended)
4) Received bariatric surgery in the previous year prior to enrollment OR scheduled for bariatric surgery during the study period
5) Currently taking GLP-1 receptor agonist (including but not limited to Ozempic, Trulicity, Byetta, Adlyxin, Victoza)


This study is not currently accepting expressions of interest via the website. Please see contact information below.

Additional information

Contact information

Please talk to your cardiologist or cardiac healthcare team if you are interested in participating in this study. If you have questions about the study, please email behmed@ucalgary.ca.

Principal investigator:

Tavis Campbell

Clinical trial: