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THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A COMPUTER AND INTERNET-BASED SYSTEM IN A SHORT-TERM BEHAVIORAL WEIGHT LOSS INTERVENTION

by Polzien, Kristen Marie

Abstract (Summary)
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A COMPUTER AND INTERNET-BASED SYSTEM IN A SHORT-TERM BEHAVIORAL WEIGHT LOSS INTERVENTION Kristen M. Polzien, PhD. University of Pittsburgh, 2005 Computer and Internet-assisted weight loss interventions offer alternative delivery channels that might increase program appeal and potentially increase weight loss success. To date research focused on these innovative techniques is limited. PURPOSE: To examine the effectiveness adding a technology-based intervention component to an in-person, 12-week clinically-based behavioral weight loss intervention. METHODS: Fifty-seven subjects (body mass index = 33.1+/-2.8 kg/m2; age = 41.3+/-8.7 yrs) participated in a 12-week intervention with random assignment to Standard Behavioral Program (SBWP), Intermittent Technology-Based Program (INT-TECH), or Continuous Technology-Based Program (CON-TECH). SBWP received an individual weight loss session at weeks 1-4, 6, 8, and 10, prescribed a diet of 1200-1500 kcal/d, and exercise progressing from 20-40 min/d on 5 days/wk. INT-TECH and CON-TECH received the components of SBWP, however, these groups also used a SenseWear Pro Armband (BodyMedia, Inc.) to monitor energy expenditure and a web-based program to monitor eating behaviors. INT-TECH used these features during weeks 1, 5, and 9, with CON-TECH using these features throughout the 12-week intervention. Outcomes included body weight, percent body fat, and cardiorespiratory fitness. RESULTS: Fifty subjects completed the investigation (88%). Intent-to-treat analysis revealed weight loss of 4.1+/-2.8 kg (4.6 +/-2.8%), 3.4+/-3.4 kg (3.8+/-3.8%), and 6.2+/-4.0 kg (7.1+/-4.6%), for the SBWP, INT-TECH, and CON-TECH groups, respectively (CON-TECH greater than INT-TECH, p less than/equal to 0.05). Percent body fat was significantly decreased in CON-TECH (-4.1+/-2.9%) when compared to both SBWP (-1.6+/-1.5%) and INT-TECH (-1.6+/-1.7%) (p less than/equal to 0.05). Cardiorespiratory fitness significantly increased in all groups by 14%, 3%, and 5% in SBWP, INT-TECH, and CON-TECH, respectively; p less than 0.01), with no significant group differences. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that a technology-based program that is used continuous over a 12-week intervention and is complimentary to a clinically-based in-person intervention improves weight loss by approximately 3% compared to a SBWP that does not use these technology features or by approximately 3.7% compare to INT-TECH uses the technology features only intermittently during the intervention. Considering these short-term results, future studies should examine the impact of adding these technology features to a SBWP on long-term weight loss outcomes, and for whom technology-based programs are most effective.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:John Jakicic, PhD; Deborah Tate, PhD; Bret Goodpaster, PhD; Amy Otto, PhD

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:health physical and recreation education

ISBN:

Date of Publication:12/02/2005

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