Title

Computerized self-monitoring and email feedback for weight loss

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2011

Originally Published In

Patient Education and Counseling

Volume Number

85

Issue Number

3

Page Numbers

375–382

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a 12-week weight management intervention involving computerized self-monitoring and technology-assisted feedback with and without an enhanced behavioral component.

Methods

120 overweight (30.5 ± 2.6 kg/m2) adults (45.0 ± 10.3 years) were randomized to one of three groups: computerized self-monitoring with Basic feedback (n = 45), Enhanced behavioral feedback (n = 45), or wait-list control (n = 30). Intervention participants used a computer software program to record dietary and physical activity information. Weekly e-mail feedback was based on computer-generated reports, and participants attended monthly measurement visits.

Results

The Basic and Enhanced groups experienced significant weight reduction (−2.7 ± 3.3 kg and −2.5 ± 3.1 kg) in comparison to the Control group (0.3 ± 2.2; p < 0.05). Waist circumference and systolic blood pressure also decreased in intervention groups compared to Control (p < 0.01).

Conclusions

A program using computerized self-monitoring, technology-assisted feedback, and monthly measurement visits produced significant weight loss after 12 weeks. However, the addition of an enhanced behavioral component did not improve the effectiveness of the program.

Practice implications

This study suggests that healthcare professionals can effectively deliver a weight management intervention using technology-assisted strategies in a format that may complement and reduce face-to-face sessions.