Treating Obesity with a Novel Hand-Held Device, Computer Software Program, and Internet Technology in Primary Care: The Smart Motivational Trial

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Patient Education and Counseling

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the short-term motivational effect of a technology-based weight reduction program for obese adults.


One hundred and eleven obese (37.0 ± 5.8 kg/m2) middle aged (45.5 ± 10.8 years) adults (62% female) were randomly assigned to a usual care or experimental (SMART: self-monitoring and resting metabolic rate technology) group. The usual care group received a standard nutritional program in accordance to national guidelines. All participants received a comprehensive weight management program consisting of motivational interviewing (MI) sessions and automated e-mail behavioral newsletters. Bodyweight, arterial blood pressure, and psychobehavioral constructs were assessed over 12 weeks.


Completer analysis (n = 80) indicated a significant improvement in bodyweight (−3.9%), systolic arterial pressure (−4 mmHg), and all motivational constructs following the 12-week study (p ≤ .05). However, there were no significant differences between groups at any time period.


Based on these data, a 12-week comprehensive weight reduction program consisting of MI and automated e-mail behavioral newsletters with or without SMART is efficacious in treating obese adults.

Practice implications

Although both treatment programs were equally effective, clinicians should consider a treatment program that meets the need of the patient. This study was registered at ClinicalTrails.gov NCT00750022.