To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.
An ongoing clinical trial is testing the efficacy of web telematic support in a structured program for obesity treatment and diabetes prevention. Participants were recruited from two tertiary-care hospitals and randomized to receive either a telematic intervention (TI) supported by PREDIRCAM2 web platform or a non-telematic intervention (NTI). All receive 1-year follow-up. Both interventions consist of tailored dietary and exercise prescriptions, based on a Mediterranean dietary pattern and general WHO exercise recommendations for adults. At 6 months, both groups have received 7 contacts, 3 exclusively telematic for the TI group. This is a preliminary result intention-to-treat analysis. One hundred eighty-three participants were recruited, with a mean body mass index of 34.75 ± 2.75 kg/m2. General dropout rate at 6 months was 26.8%. Weight changes were statistically significant at months 3 and 6 compared to baseline, -2.915 ± 0.24 kg, -3.29 ± 0.36 kg, respectively (P < 0.001), but not statistically significant between the 3- and 6-month time points -0.37 ± 0.21 kg (P = 0.24). Mean group differences showed that the TI group lost 1.61 ± 1.88 kg more than the NTI group (P = 0.39). Waist, waist/hip ratio, resting heart rate, blood pressure, HbA1c, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol also showed statistically significant changes at 6 months, with no significant differences between groups. Weight loss in the TI group shows similar results as the usual care NTI group for weight loss and control of obesity comorbidities. At completion of the clinical trial, these results will be reevaluated to assess the potential role of web support in weight-loss maintenance and its cost-effectiveness.
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.
... The 2-year follow-up rate of this study was 70.5%, i.e. similar to other lifestyle interventions [26,34]. As previous ICT interventions for obesity or MetS had shorter follow-up periods and the follow-up rates have varied from 73.1% to 79.1% during the 6 months intervention [17,33,35], this study is fully feasible and generalizable, and long-term applicable. ...
The aim was to investigate whether lifestyle changes produced by persuasive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) counselling can lower the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS).
A total of 532 participants (20–60 years, body mass index 27–35 kg/m²) were randomly assigned to six arms according to counselling type (no, short-term, or intensive) with or without ICT intervention. In this report the prevalence of MetS and its components were compared between no-ICT group and ICT group. Moreover, the frequency of the web information system usage was analysed for the number of logins, responses to weekly messages, and other record variables.
The ICT group had significantly lower proportion of MetS (33.7% vs. 45.3%, p = .022) than the no-ICT group at 2-year follow-up. In mixed model, the ICT group had lower prevalence of MetS than no-ICT group (OR 0.50, 95%CI 0.27–0.90) after intervention. The tertile with the highest utilization had 71% lower prevalence of MetS compared with the lowest utilization tertile or the no-ICT group.
Web-based ICT is able to reduce the prevalence of MetS. In addition, higher utilization of the web information system is associated with a greater decrease in the prevalence of MetS.
• Our internet health behaviour change support system based on persuasive design and cognitive behaviour therapy markedly reduces metabolic syndrome in overweight/obese subjects. As a stand-alone tool it may save healthcare personnel resources as it is suitable at a low cost for both obese/overweight patients and the public at large.
Because the field of information systems (IS) research is vast and diverse, structuring it is a necessary precondition for any further analysis of artefacts. To structure research fields, taxonomies are a useful tool. Approaches aiming to develop sound taxonomies exist, but they do not focus on empirical development. We aimed to close this gap by providing the CAFE methodology, which is based on quantitative content analysis.
Subject and methods
Existing taxonomies are used to build a coding scheme, which is then validated on an IS project database. After describing the methodology, it is applied to develop a telemedicine taxonomy.
The CAFE methodology consists of four steps, including applicable methods. It helps in producing quantitative data for statistical analysis to empirically ground any newly developed taxonomy. By applying the methodology, a taxonomy for telemedicine is presented, including, e.g. application types, settings or the technology involved in telemedicine initiatives.
Taxonomies can serve in identifying both components and outcomes to analyse. As such, our empirically sound methodology for deriving those is a contribution not only to evaluation research but also to the development of future successful telemedicine or other digital applications.
In this extensive review of behavioral digital obesity interventions, we reviewed randomized control trials aimed at weight loss or maintaining weight loss and identifying persuasive categories and principles that drive these interventions. The following databases were searched for long-term obesity interventions: Medline, PsycINFO, Academic Search Complete, CINAHL and Scopus. The inclusion criteria included the following search terms: obesity, overweight, weight reduction, weight loss, obesity management, and diet control. Additional criteria included randomized control trial, ≥ 6 months intervention, ≥ 100 participants and must include persuasive technology. Forty-six publications were in the final review. Primary task support was the most frequently utilized persuasive system design (PSD) category and self-monitoring was the most utilized PSD principle. Behavioral obesity interventions that utilized PSD with a behavior change theory more frequently produced statistically significant weight loss findings. Persuasive technology and PSD in digital health play a significant role in the management and improvement of obesity especially when aligned with behavior change theories. Understanding which PSD categories and principles work best for behavioral obesity interventions is critical and future interventions might be more effective if they were based on these specific PSD categories and principles.
Despite the number of weight management programmes and their wide promotion, most overweight and obese individuals tend to lose weight on their own. The present study aimed to understand the characteristics and strategies of those who successfully engage in self-directed weight loss, which could empower other overweight and obese individuals with information and strategies to manage their weight on their own.
Men and women who had lost at least 5% of their body weight without direct interaction with professionals or weight management programmes were recruited. Demographic data were collected by questionnaire and participants' weight-loss experiences were explored using semi- structured interviews to elicit in-depth individual experiences and perspectives. Iterative thematic method data analysis was used to generate themes describing contributing factors to the success of self-directed weight loss identified by participants.
Most characteristics of those who successfully self-managed their weight loss were in line with those reported by successful weight losers participating in professional-led projects. However, strategies such as early embedding of new lifestyle behaviours into daily routine, the ability to learn from previous weight-loss experiences, and not requiring social support were identified as distinctive factors that contributed to the success of self-directed weight loss by participants of the present study.
Overweight or obese individuals with strong internal motivation, problem-solving skills and self-reliance are more likely to be successful at achieving self-directed weight loss. The patients identified with these characteristics could be encouraged to self-manage their weight-loss process, leaving the places available in more resource-intensive professional-led programmes to those individuals unlikely to succeed on their own.
We aimed to assess whether distinct lifestyle strategies can differentially affect specific body adipose depots.
We performed an 18-month randomized controlled trial among 278 sedentary adults with abdominal obesity (75%) or dyslipidemia in an isolated workplace with a monitored provided lunch. Participants were randomized to isocaloric low-fat or Mediterranean/low-carbohydrate (MED/LC) diet+28 g walnuts/day with/without added moderate physical activity (PA; 80% aerobic; supervised/free gym membership). Overall primary outcome was body fat redistribution, and the main specific end point was visceral adipose tissue (VAT). We further followed the dynamics of different fat depots (deep and superficial subcutaneous, liver, pericardial, muscle, pancreas, and renal sinus) by magnetic resonance imaging.
Of 278 participants (age, 48 years, 89% men, body mass index, 30.8 kg/m2), 86% completed the trial with good adherence. The low-fat group preferentially decreased reported fat intake (-21.0% versus -11.5% for the MED/LC;P<0.001), and the MED/LC group decreased reported carbohydrates intake (-39.5% versus -21.3% for the low-fat group;P<0.001). The PA+groups significantly increased the metabolic equivalents per week versus the PA-groups (19.0 versus 2.1;P=0.009). Whereas final moderate weight loss was indifferent, exercise attenuated the waist circumference rebound with the greatest effect in the MED/LCPA+group (P<0.05). VAT (-22%), intrahepatic (-29%), and intrapericardial (-11%) fats declines were higher than pancreatic and femur intermuscular fats (1% to 2%) loss. Independent of weight loss, PA+with either diet had a significantly greater effect on decreasing VAT (mean of difference, -6.67cm2; 95% confidence interval, -14.8 to -0.45) compared with PA-. The MED/LC diet was superior to the low-fat diet in decreasing intrahepatic, intrapericardial, and pancreatic fats (P<0.05 for all). In contrast, renal sinus and femoral intermuscular fats were not differentially altered by lifestyle interventions but by weight loss per se. In multivariate models further adjusted for weight loss, losing VAT or intrahepatic fat was independently associated with improved lipid profile, losing deep subcutaneous adipose tissue with improved insulin sensitivity, and losing superficial subcutaneous adipose tissue remained neutral except for an association with decreased leptin.
Moderate weight loss alone inadequately reflects the significant lifestyle effects on atherogenic and diabetogenic fat depots. The MED/LC diet mobilizes specific ectopic fat depots, and exercise has an independent contribution to VAT loss. Fat depots exhibit diverse responsiveness and are differentially related to cardiometabolic markers. Distinct lifestyle protocols may uniquely induce fat mobilization from specific anatomic sites.
Clinical trial registration:
URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01530724.
A lack of physical activity is considered to cause 6% of deaths globally. Feedback from wearables such as activity trackers has the potential to encourage daily physical activity. To date, little research is available on the natural development of adherence to activity trackers or on potential factors that predict which users manage to keep using their activity tracker during the first year (and thereby increasing the chance of healthy behavior change) and which users discontinue using their trackers after a short time.
The aim of this study was to identify the determinants for sustained use in the first year after purchase. Specifically, we look at the relative importance of demographic and socioeconomic, psychological, health-related, goal-related, technological, user experience-related, and social predictors of feedback device use. Furthermore, this study tests the effect of these predictors on physical activity.
A total of 711 participants from four urban areas in France received an activity tracker (Fitbit Zip) and gave permission to use their logged data. Participants filled out three Web-based questionnaires: at start, after 98 days, and after 232 days to measure the aforementioned determinants. Furthermore, for each participant, we collected activity data tracked by their Fitbit tracker for 320 days. We determined the relative importance of all included predictors by using Random Forest, a machine learning analysis technique.
The data showed a slow exponential decay in Fitbit use, with 73.9% (526/711) of participants still tracking after 100 days and 16.0% (114/711) of participants tracking after 320 days. On average, participants used the tracker for 129 days. Most important reasons to quit tracking were technical issues such as empty batteries and broken trackers or lost trackers (21.5% of all Q3 respondents, 130/601). Random Forest analysis of predictors revealed that the most influential determinants were age, user experience-related factors, mobile phone type, household type, perceived effect of the Fitbit tracker, and goal-related factors. We explore the role of those predictors that show meaningful differences in the number of days the tracker was worn.
This study offers an overview of the natural development of the use of an activity tracker, as well as the relative importance of a range of determinants from literature. Decay is exponential but slower than may be expected from existing literature. Many factors have a small contribution to sustained use. The most important determinants are technical condition, age, user experience, and goal-related factors. This finding suggests that activity tracking is potentially beneficial for a broad range of target groups, but more attention should be paid to technical and user experience-related aspects of activity trackers.
The combination of self-tracking and persuasive eCoaching in automated interventions is a new and promising approach for healthy lifestyle management.
The aim of this study was to identify key components of self-tracking and persuasive eCoaching in automated healthy lifestyle interventions that contribute to their effectiveness on health outcomes, usability, and adherence. A secondary aim was to identify the way in which these key components should be designed to contribute to improved health outcomes, usability, and adherence.
The scoping review methodology proposed by Arskey and O’Malley was applied. Scopus, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and PubMed were searched for publications dated from January 1, 2013 to January 31, 2016 that included (1) self-tracking, (2) persuasive eCoaching, and (3) healthy lifestyle intervention.
The search resulted in 32 publications, 17 of which provided results regarding the effect on health outcomes, 27 of which provided results regarding usability, and 13 of which provided results regarding adherence. Among the 32 publications, 27 described an intervention. The most commonly applied persuasive eCoaching components in the described interventions were personalization (n=24), suggestion (n=19), goal-setting (n=17), simulation (n=17), and reminders (n=15). As for self-tracking components, most interventions utilized an accelerometer to measure steps (n=11). Furthermore, the medium through which the user could access the intervention was usually a mobile phone (n=10). The following key components and their specific design seem to influence both health outcomes and usability in a positive way: reduction by setting short-term goals to eventually reach long-term goals, personalization of goals, praise messages, reminders to input self-tracking data into the technology, use of validity-tested devices, integration of self-tracking and persuasive eCoaching, and provision of face-to-face instructions during implementation. In addition, health outcomes or usability were not negatively affected when more effort was requested from participants to input data into the technology. The data extracted from the included publications provided limited ability to identify key components for adherence. However, one key component was identified for both usability and adherence, namely the provision of personalized content.
This scoping review provides a first overview of the key components in automated healthy lifestyle interventions combining self-tracking and persuasive eCoaching that can be utilized during the development of such interventions. Future studies should focus on the identification of key components for effects on adherence, as adherence is a prerequisite for an intervention to be effective.
Background: Weight loss is challenging and maintenance of weight loss is problematic. Web-based programs offer good potential for delivery of interventions for weight loss or weight loss maintenance. However, the precise impact of Web-based weight management programs is still unclear.
Objective: The purpose of this meta-systematic review was to provide a comprehensive summary of the efficacy of Web-based interventions for weight loss and weight loss maintenance.
Methods: Electronic databases were searched for systematic reviews and meta-analyses that included at least one study investigating the effect of a Web-based intervention on weight loss and/or weight loss maintenance among samples of overweight and/or obese individuals. Twenty identified reviews met the inclusion criteria. The Revised Assessment of Multiple SysTemAtic Reviews (R-AMSTAR) was used to assess methodological quality of reviews. All included reviews were of sufficient methodological quality (R-AMSTAR score ≥22). Key methodological and outcome data were extracted from each review.
Results: Web-based interventions for both weight loss and weight loss maintenance were more effective than minimal or control conditions. However, when contrasted with comparable non-Web-based interventions, results were less consistent across reviews.
Conclusions: Overall, the efficacy of weight loss maintenance interventions was stronger than the efficacy of weight loss interventions, but further evidence is needed to more clearly understand the efficacy of both types of Web-based interventions.
The growth of diabetes prevalence is causing an increasing demand in health care services which affects the clinicians’ workload as medical resources do not grow at the same rate as the diabetic population. Decision support tools can help clinicians with the inspection of monitoring data, providing a preliminary analysis to ease their interpretation and reduce the evaluation time per patient. This paper presents Sinedie, a clinical decision support system designed to manage the treatment of patients with gestational diabetes. Sinedie aims to improve access to specialized healthare assistance, to prevent patients from unnecessary displacements, to reduce the evaluation time per patient and to avoid gestational diabetes adverse outcomes.
Direct-to-consumer trackers and devices have potential to enhance theory-based physical activity interventions by offering a simple and pleasant way to help participants self-monitor their behavior. A secondary benefit of these devices is the opportunity for investigators to objectively track adherence to physical activity goals across weeks or even months, rather than relying on self-report or a small number of accelerometry wear periods. The use of consumer trackers for continuous monitoring of adherence has considerable potential to enhance physical activity research, but few studies have been published in this rapidly developing area.
The objective of the study was to assess the trajectory of physical activity adherence across a 16-week self-monitoring intervention, as measured by the Fitbit tracker.
Participants were 25 overweight or obese, postmenopausal women enrolled in the intervention arm of a randomized controlled physical activity intervention trial. Each participant received a 16-week technology-based intervention that used the Fitbit physical activity tracker and website. The overall study goal was 150 minutes/week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) and 10,000 steps/day; however, goals were set individually for each participant and updated at Week 4 based on progress. Adherence data were collected by the Fitbit and aggregated by Fitabase. Participants also wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer for 7 days prior to the intervention and again during Week 16.
The median participant logged 10 hours or more/day of Fitbit wear on 95% of the 112 intervention days, with no significant decline in wear over the study period. Participants averaged 7540 (SD 2373) steps/day and 82 minutes/week (SD 43) of accumulated "fairly active" and "very active" minutes during the intervention. At Week 4, 80% (20/25) of women chose to maintain/increase their individual MVPA goal and 72% (18/25) of participants chose to maintain/increase their step goal. Physical activity levels were relatively stable after peaking at 3 weeks, with only small declines of 8% for steps (P=.06) and 14% for MVPA (P=.05) by 16 weeks.
These data indicate that a sophisticated, direct-to-consumer activity tracker encouraged high levels of self-monitoring that were sustained over 16 weeks. Further study is needed to determine how to motivate additional gains in physical activity and evaluate the long-term utility of the Fitbit tracker as part of a strategy for chronic disease prevention.
Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01837147; http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01837147 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6d0VeQpvB).
Electronic activity monitors (such as those manufactured by Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike) improve on standard pedometers by providing automated feedback and interactive behavior change tools via mobile device or personal computer. These monitors are commercially popular and show promise for use in public health interventions. However, little is known about the content of their feedback applications and how individual monitors may differ from one another.
The purpose of this study was to describe the behavior change techniques implemented in commercially available electronic activity monitors.
Electronic activity monitors (N=13) were systematically identified and tested by 3 trained coders for at least 1 week each. All monitors measured lifestyle physical activity and provided feedback via an app (computer or mobile). Coding was based on a hierarchical list of 93 behavior change techniques. Further coding of potentially effective techniques and adherence to theory-based recommendations were based on findings from meta-analyses and meta-regressions in the research literature.
All monitors provided tools for self-monitoring, feedback, and environmental change by definition. The next most prevalent techniques (13 out of 13 monitors) were goal-setting and emphasizing discrepancy between current and goal behavior. Review of behavioral goals, social support, social comparison, prompts/cues, rewards, and a focus on past success were found in more than half of the systems. The monitors included a range of 5-10 of 14 total techniques identified from the research literature as potentially effective. Most of the monitors included goal-setting, self-monitoring, and feedback content that closely matched recommendations from social cognitive theory.
Electronic activity monitors contain a wide range of behavior change techniques typically used in clinical behavioral interventions. Thus, the monitors may represent a medium by which these interventions could be translated for widespread use. This technology has broad applications for use in clinical, public health, and rehabilitation settings.
Healthy diet and regular physical activity are powerful tools in reducing diabetes and cardiometabolic risk. Various international scientific and health organizations have advocated the use of new technologies to solve these problems. The PREDIRCAM project explores the contribution that a technological system could offer for the continuous monitoring of lifestyle habits and individualized treatment of obesity as well as cardiometabolic risk prevention.
PREDIRCAM is a technological platform for patients and professionals designed to improve the effectiveness of lifestyle behavior modifications through the intensive use of the latest information and communication technologies. The platform consists of a web-based application providing communication interface with monitoring devices of physiological variables, application for monitoring dietary intake, ad hoc electronic medical records, different communication channels, and an intelligent notification system. A 2-week feasibility study was conducted in 15 volunteers to assess the viability of the platform.
The website received 244 visits (average time/session: 17 min 45 s). A total of 435 dietary intakes were recorded (average time for each intake registration, 4 min 42 s ± 2 min 30 s), 59 exercises were recorded in 20 heart rate monitor downloads, 43 topics were discussed through a forum, and 11 of the 15 volunteers expressed a favorable opinion toward the platform. Food intake recording was reported as the most laborious task. Ten of the volunteers considered long-term use of the platform to be feasible.
The PREDIRCAM platform is technically ready for clinical evaluation. Training is required to use the platform and, in particular, for registration of dietary food intake.
Obesity is a public health crisis that has reached epidemic proportions. Although intensive behavioral interventions can produce clinically significant weight loss, their cost to implement, coupled with resource limitations, pose significant barriers to scalability. To overcome these challenges, researchers have made attempts to shift intervention content to the Internet and other mobile devices. This article systematically reviews the recent literature examining technology-supported interventions for weight loss and maintenance among overweight and obese adults. Thirteen studies were identified that satisfied our inclusion criteria (12 weight loss trials, 1 weight maintenance trial). Our findings suggest that technology interventions may be efficacious at producing weight loss. However, several studies are limited by methodologic shortcomings. There are insufficient data to evaluate their efficacy for weight maintenance. Further research is needed that employs state-of-the-art methodology, with careful attention being paid to adherence and fidelity to intervention protocols.
The aim of our study was to evaluate the influence of lifestyle factors and molecular biomarkers on the maintenance of the weight lost after a hypocaloric Mediterranean diet.
After 3 months on a diet, patients (n = 335) remained with no controlled diet during 3 years and they were revaluated.
Using linear regression, in the group of responders, we detected that a positive weight loss at 3 months, serum levels of leptin at 3 months, and each 30 min per week of physical activity were associated with weight loss maintenance. In the model with reduced weight (RW) as dependent variable, a positive weight loss at 3 months was associated with 2.4% RW (95% CI 1.31-8.11; p = 0.015), each unit of serum leptin levels at 3 months with -0.44% RW (95% CI -0.59 to -0.020; p = 0.007), each basal unit homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) level with -2.32% (95% CI -13.01 to -0.17; p = 0.040), and each 30 min per week of physical activity with 1.58% RW (95% CI 1.08-2.94; p = 0.020).
Obese subjects who are on maintenance weight loss after a dietary intervention appear to have a better initial response during the 3 months intervention, more physical activity at 3 years, and lower basal HOMA-IR and leptin after weight loss than those who regain weight.
The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of technology-based weight loss interventions for endometrial cancer (EC) survivors with obesity.
EC survivors with obesity (n = 196) from three medical centers completed assessments for knowledge of obesity as a risk for EC and interest in weight management. Forty-one women were randomized to a 6-month intervention: telemedicine with Wi-Fi scales, text messaging (texting), or enhanced usual care (EUC). Changes in anthropometrics and psychosocial measures were analyzed.
One-third of survey participants lacked awareness that obesity increased the risk of EC, and 40% misclassified their body mass. There were no significant differences in weight loss across interventions (mean = -4.4 kg, SD = 6.5 kg). Telemedicine showed improvements in physical health and cancer-related body image (Ps = 0.04) compared to texting and in sexual functioning compared to EUC (P = 0.03). Total physical activity was increased in EUC compared with telemedicine (P = 0.01), and vigorous physical activity was increased in EUC compared with both interventions (P = 0.01-0.03); walking significantly increased in texting compared with telemedicine (P = 0.02).
Technology-based lifestyle interventions in EC survivors with obesity were accessible and resulted in weight loss and improved quality of life. EUC also produced weight loss, demonstrating a potential for beginning weight management with information on specific diet and exercise goals.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the first-choice treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), but adherence is frequently suboptimal. Innovative, patient-centred interventions are, therefore, needed to enhance compliance. Due to its low cost and ubiquity, mobile health (mHealth) technology seems particularly suited for this purpose. We endeavoured to develop an mHealth application called "APPnea," aimed at promoting patient self-monitoring of CPAP treatment. We then assessed the feasibility and acceptability of APPnea in a group of OSA patients.
Consecutive OSA patients used APPnea for six weeks. APPnea gave patients daily reminders to answer three questions about their OSA treatment (CPAP use, physical activity, and diet) and prompted them to upload their body weight weekly. Answers were saved to a secure server for further analysis. After completing the study, patients gave their anonymous opinions about APPnea.
We enrolled 60 patients with OSA receiving CPAP treatment. The mean age was 56 ± 10 years and the apnoea-hypopnea index was 47 ± 25 events/hour. In total, 63% of participants completed the daily questionnaire for more than 66% of the study period. Objective CPAP compliance was generally high (5.3 ± 1.6 hours/night). In a subset of 38 patients naïve to CPAP, those who used APPnea regularly had significantly higher CPAP compliance. Satisfaction levels were high for the majority of users.
This mHealth intervention is not only feasible but also satisfactory to patients. Although larger randomized trials and cost-effectiveness studies should be performed, this study shows that APPnea could promote participation and improve compliance among patients with OSA, thereby improving outcomes.