Adult Weight Management

AWM: New Technology and Telenutrition (2013)

Citation:

Donaldson EL, Fallows S, Morris M. A text message based weight management intervention for overweight adults. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2013 Jun 6. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12096. [Epub ahead of print].

PubMed ID: 23738786
 
Study Design:
Randomized Controlled Trial
Class:
A - Click here for explanation of classification scheme.
Quality Rating:
Neutral NEUTRAL: See Quality Criteria Checklist below.
Research Purpose:

To determine whether text messaging helped patients maintain or lose weight following a weight-loss program.

 
Inclusion Criteria:
  • High attendees at LEAP (attendance of at least 50% of sessions)
  • Provided written informed consent
  • Aged 18 or older
  • No parallel participation in another weight management group
  • During the study, did not use anti-obesity medication.
Exclusion Criteria:

Patients that were not able to send out or receive text messages.

Description of Study Protocol:

Recruitment

  • Patients were recruited to the study from dietetic-led 12-week weight management groups (LEAP)
  • All were a self-selected group; willfully opting in to seek dietetic support; they were given the choice of individual appointments or group weight management sessions
  • All patients in the study chose group weight management sessions.

Design

Randomized controlled trial.

Blinding Used

Implied with measurements.

Intervention

  • Subjects were given the choice of individual appointments or group weight management sessions. All patients in the study chose group weight management sessions.
  • Patients were each given a target to achieve for fruit, vegetable and breakfast consumption (five portions per day)
  • Each patient was loaned a pedometer and set an individual step target
  • Subjects were then randomized to groups receiving or not receiving text messages
    • Twice weekly for 12 weeks, patients were sent reminder text messages to text the practitioner their data
    • Patients sent back one weekday and one weekend message. If no response to the request for data was received on the day of sending, a second identical request message was sent the following day and the third day if necessary.
    • Depending on received data against personal targets, patients were sent personalized responses; either congratulatory if their data met their target or an encouraging response with practical ideas on improvement if they failed to meet the target
    • The control group was sent no text messages.

Statistical Analysis

  • SPSS, version 17 for (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used for statistical analysis
  • Wilcoxon signed ranks tests and Mann–Whitney U-tests were used to determine differences in health variables, lifestyle factors and attendance data between and within the groups.
Data Collection Summary:

Timing of Measurements

Measurements made at baseline and after 12 weeks.

Dependent Variables

  • Weight maintenance or further weight loss: Body weight (kg) was measured by a dietitian pre- and post-intervention using adult digital weighing scales
  • Waist circumference (cm) was measured using a constant tension waist tape. These measurements were collected pre- and post-intervention by a dietitian.
  • The Impact of Weight on Quality of Life tool (IWQOL) was used to measure overall QOL in relation to weight on a five-point scale: physical function, self-esteem, sexual life, public distress and work
  • The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to measure states of depression and anxiety.

Independent Variables

  • Subjects were given the choice of individual appointments or group weight management sessions. All patients in the study chose group weight management sessions.
  • Patients were each given a target to achieve for fruit, vegetable and breakfast consumption (five portions per day)
  • Each patient was loaned a pedometer and set an individual step target
  • Subjects were then randomized to groups receiving or not receiving text messages
    • Twice weekly for 12 weeks, patients were sent reminder text messages to text the practitioner their data
    • Patients sent back one weekday and one weekend message. If no response to the request for data was received on the day of sending, a second identical request message was sent the following day and the third day if necessary.
    • Depending on received data against personal targets, patients were sent personalized responses; either congratulatory if their data met their target or an encouraging response with practical ideas on improvement if they failed to meet the target
    • The control group was sent no text messages. 
Description of Actual Data Sample:

Initial N

35 subjects.

Attrition (Final N)

34 subjects:

  • 17 in the intervention group (seven males, 10 females)
  • 17 in the control group (four males, 13 females).

Age

Mean age in the intervention group was 58.3 years vs. 59.1 years in the control group.

Other relevant demographics

Mean waist circumference in the intervention group 114.4cm vs. 115.6cm in the control.

Anthropometrics

Mean BMI 25.6kg/m2 in the intervention group vs. 35.1kg/m2 in the control group. No significant differences in any of the health variables (weight, waist, BMI, QOL, anxiety and depression) were found between the groups at baseline.

Location

United Kingdom.

 

Summary of Results:

Key Findings

  • Compared to control (N=17), the intervention group’s (N=17) body weight, WC and BMI reduced significantly (1.6kg vs. 0.7kg, P=0.006; 2.2cm vs. 1.5cm, P=0.0005; 0.6kg/m2 vs. 0.7kg/m2, P=0.03, respectively)
  • QOL and depression scores also improved (6.8 point vs. 1 point, P=0.134; 0.2 points vs. 0.2 points, P=0.228)
  • No difference was observed in anxiety scores between the groups. Intervention vs. control group follow-up attendance improved significantly (4.4 vs. 1.7 attendance, P=0.0005).

 

 

 

Author Conclusion:

Text messaging is a cheap, portable, convenient and innovative medium facilitated goal-setting, self-monitoring and information exchange. Further improvements to automation at the same time as maintaining individual support are necessary to east practitioner burden. Text messaging offers cost-efficient dietetic input, opening up possibilities for practitioner to patient support and yields positive weight outcomes following initial weight loss.

 
 
Funding Source:
University/Hospital: MSc research project carried out by E. L. Donaldson at the University of Chester
Reviewer Comments:
  • Small numbers of subjects in groups.
  • The authors noted that the present controlled study included a retrospective analysis. Analyses of this type are more prone to bias and confounding data.
 
 
Quality Criteria Checklist: Primary Research
Relevance Questions
  1. Would implementing the studied intervention or procedure (if found successful) result in improved outcomes for the patients/clients/population group? (Not Applicable for some epidemiological studies) Yes
  1. Would implementing the studied intervention or procedure (if found successful) result in improved outcomes for the patients/clients/population group? (Not Applicable for some epidemiological studies) Yes
  2. Did the authors study an outcome (dependent variable) or topic that the patients/clients/population group would care about? Yes
  2. Did the authors study an outcome (dependent variable) or topic that the patients/clients/population group would care about? Yes
  3. Is the focus of the intervention or procedure (independent variable) or topic of study a common issue of concern to dieteticspractice? Yes
  3. Is the focus of the intervention or procedure (independent variable) or topic of study a common issue of concern to dieteticspractice? Yes
  4. Is the intervention or procedure feasible? (NA for some epidemiological studies) Yes
  4. Is the intervention or procedure feasible? (NA for some epidemiological studies) Yes
 
Validity Questions
  1. Was the research question clearly stated? Yes
1. Was the research question clearly stated? Yes
  1.1. Was (were) the specific intervention(s) or procedure(s) [independent variable(s)] identified? Yes
  1.1. Was (were) the specific intervention(s) or procedure(s) [independent variable(s)] identified? Yes
  1.2. Was (were) the outcome(s) [dependent variable(s)] clearly indicated? Yes
  1.2. Was (were) the outcome(s) [dependent variable(s)] clearly indicated? Yes
  1.3. Were the target population and setting specified? Yes
  1.3. Were the target population and setting specified? Yes
  2. Was the selection of study subjects/patients free from bias? No
2. Was the selection of study subjects/patients free from bias? No
  2.1. Were inclusion/exclusion criteria specified (e.g., risk, point in disease progression, diagnostic or prognosis criteria), and with sufficient detail and without omitting criteria critical to the study? Yes
  2.1. Were inclusion/exclusion criteria specified (e.g., risk, point in disease progression, diagnostic or prognosis criteria), and with sufficient detail and without omitting criteria critical to the study? Yes
  2.2. Were criteria applied equally to all study groups? Yes
  2.2. Were criteria applied equally to all study groups? Yes
  2.3. Were health, demographics, and other characteristics of subjects described? Yes
  2.3. Were health, demographics, and other characteristics of subjects described? Yes
  2.4. Were the subjects/patients a representative sample of the relevant population? No
  2.4. Were the subjects/patients a representative sample of the relevant population? No
  3. Were study groups comparable? ???
3. Were study groups comparable? ???
  3.1. Was the method of assigning subjects/patients to groups described and unbiased? (Method of randomization identified if RCT) Yes
  3.1. Was the method of assigning subjects/patients to groups described and unbiased? (Method of randomization identified if RCT) Yes
  3.2. Were distribution of disease status, prognostic factors, and other factors (e.g., demographics) similar across study groups at baseline? Yes
  3.2. Were distribution of disease status, prognostic factors, and other factors (e.g., demographics) similar across study groups at baseline? Yes
  3.3. Were concurrent controls or comparisons used? (Concurrent preferred over historical control or comparison groups.) No
  3.3. Were concurrent controls or comparisons used? (Concurrent preferred over historical control or comparison groups.) No
  3.4. If cohort study or cross-sectional study, were groups comparable on important confounding factors and/or were preexisting differences accounted for by using appropriate adjustments in statistical analysis? N/A
  3.4. If cohort study or cross-sectional study, were groups comparable on important confounding factors and/or were preexisting differences accounted for by using appropriate adjustments in statistical analysis? N/A
  3.5. If case control study, were potential confounding factors comparable for cases and controls? (If case series or trial with subjects serving as own control, this criterion is not applicable.) N/A
  3.5. If case control study, were potential confounding factors comparable for cases and controls? (If case series or trial with subjects serving as own control, this criterion is not applicable.) N/A
  3.6. If diagnostic test, was there an independent blind comparison with an appropriate reference standard (e.g., "gold standard")? N/A
  3.6. If diagnostic test, was there an independent blind comparison with an appropriate reference standard (e.g., "gold standard")? N/A
  4. Was method of handling withdrawals described? Yes
4. Was method of handling withdrawals described? Yes
  4.1. Were follow-up methods described and the same for all groups? Yes
  4.1. Were follow-up methods described and the same for all groups? Yes
  4.2. Was the number, characteristics of withdrawals (i.e., dropouts, lost to follow up, attrition rate) and/or response rate (cross-sectional studies) described for each group? (Follow up goal for a strong study is 80%.) Yes
  4.2. Was the number, characteristics of withdrawals (i.e., dropouts, lost to follow up, attrition rate) and/or response rate (cross-sectional studies) described for each group? (Follow up goal for a strong study is 80%.) Yes
  4.3. Were all enrolled subjects/patients (in the original sample) accounted for? Yes
  4.3. Were all enrolled subjects/patients (in the original sample) accounted for? Yes
  4.4. Were reasons for withdrawals similar across groups? Yes
  4.4. Were reasons for withdrawals similar across groups? Yes
  4.5. If diagnostic test, was decision to perform reference test not dependent on results of test under study? N/A
  4.5. If diagnostic test, was decision to perform reference test not dependent on results of test under study? N/A
  5. Was blinding used to prevent introduction of bias? Yes
5. Was blinding used to prevent introduction of bias? Yes
  5.1. In intervention study, were subjects, clinicians/practitioners, and investigators blinded to treatment group, as appropriate? No
  5.1. In intervention study, were subjects, clinicians/practitioners, and investigators blinded to treatment group, as appropriate? No
  5.2. Were data collectors blinded for outcomes assessment? (If outcome is measured using an objective test, such as a lab value, this criterion is assumed to be met.) Yes
  5.2. Were data collectors blinded for outcomes assessment? (If outcome is measured using an objective test, such as a lab value, this criterion is assumed to be met.) Yes
  5.3. In cohort study or cross-sectional study, were measurements of outcomes and risk factors blinded? N/A
  5.3. In cohort study or cross-sectional study, were measurements of outcomes and risk factors blinded? N/A
  5.4. In case control study, was case definition explicit and case ascertainment not influenced by exposure status? N/A
  5.4. In case control study, was case definition explicit and case ascertainment not influenced by exposure status? N/A
  5.5. In diagnostic study, were test results blinded to patient history and other test results? N/A
  5.5. In diagnostic study, were test results blinded to patient history and other test results? N/A
  6. Were intervention/therapeutic regimens/exposure factor or procedure and any comparison(s) described in detail? Were interveningfactors described? Yes
6. Were intervention/therapeutic regimens/exposure factor or procedure and any comparison(s) described in detail? Were interveningfactors described? Yes
  6.1. In RCT or other intervention trial, were protocols described for all regimens studied? Yes
  6.1. In RCT or other intervention trial, were protocols described for all regimens studied? Yes
  6.2. In observational study, were interventions, study settings, and clinicians/provider described? N/A
  6.2. In observational study, were interventions, study settings, and clinicians/provider described? N/A
  6.3. Was the intensity and duration of the intervention or exposure factor sufficient to produce a meaningful effect? Yes
  6.3. Was the intensity and duration of the intervention or exposure factor sufficient to produce a meaningful effect? Yes
  6.4. Was the amount of exposure and, if relevant, subject/patient compliance measured? Yes
  6.4. Was the amount of exposure and, if relevant, subject/patient compliance measured? Yes
  6.5. Were co-interventions (e.g., ancillary treatments, other therapies) described? Yes
  6.5. Were co-interventions (e.g., ancillary treatments, other therapies) described? Yes
  6.6. Were extra or unplanned treatments described? Yes
  6.6. Were extra or unplanned treatments described? Yes
  6.7. Was the information for 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 assessed the same way for all groups? Yes
  6.7. Was the information for 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 assessed the same way for all groups? Yes
  6.8. In diagnostic study, were details of test administration and replication sufficient? N/A
  6.8. In diagnostic study, were details of test administration and replication sufficient? N/A
  7. Were outcomes clearly defined and the measurements valid and reliable? Yes
7. Were outcomes clearly defined and the measurements valid and reliable? Yes
  7.1. Were primary and secondary endpoints described and relevant to the question? Yes
  7.1. Were primary and secondary endpoints described and relevant to the question? Yes
  7.2. Were nutrition measures appropriate to question and outcomes of concern? Yes
  7.2. Were nutrition measures appropriate to question and outcomes of concern? Yes
  7.3. Was the period of follow-up long enough for important outcome(s) to occur? Yes
  7.3. Was the period of follow-up long enough for important outcome(s) to occur? Yes
  7.4. Were the observations and measurements based on standard, valid, and reliable data collection instruments/tests/procedures? Yes
  7.4. Were the observations and measurements based on standard, valid, and reliable data collection instruments/tests/procedures? Yes
  7.5. Was the measurement of effect at an appropriate level of precision? Yes
  7.5. Was the measurement of effect at an appropriate level of precision? Yes
  7.6. Were other factors accounted for (measured) that could affect outcomes? Yes
  7.6. Were other factors accounted for (measured) that could affect outcomes? Yes
  7.7. Were the measurements conducted consistently across groups? Yes
  7.7. Were the measurements conducted consistently across groups? Yes
  8. Was the statistical analysis appropriate for the study design and type of outcome indicators? Yes
8. Was the statistical analysis appropriate for the study design and type of outcome indicators? Yes
  8.1. Were statistical analyses adequately described and the results reported appropriately? Yes
  8.1. Were statistical analyses adequately described and the results reported appropriately? Yes
  8.2. Were correct statistical tests used and assumptions of test not violated? Yes
  8.2. Were correct statistical tests used and assumptions of test not violated? Yes
  8.3. Were statistics reported with levels of significance and/or confidence intervals? Yes
  8.3. Were statistics reported with levels of significance and/or confidence intervals? Yes
  8.4. Was "intent to treat" analysis of outcomes done (and as appropriate, was there an analysis of outcomes for those maximally exposed or a dose-response analysis)? N/A
  8.4. Was "intent to treat" analysis of outcomes done (and as appropriate, was there an analysis of outcomes for those maximally exposed or a dose-response analysis)? N/A
  8.5. Were adequate adjustments made for effects of confounding factors that might have affected the outcomes (e.g., multivariate analyses)? Yes
  8.5. Were adequate adjustments made for effects of confounding factors that might have affected the outcomes (e.g., multivariate analyses)? Yes
  8.6. Was clinical significance as well as statistical significance reported? Yes
  8.6. Was clinical significance as well as statistical significance reported? Yes
  8.7. If negative findings, was a power calculation reported to address type 2 error? No
  8.7. If negative findings, was a power calculation reported to address type 2 error? No
  9. Are conclusions supported by results with biases and limitations taken into consideration? Yes
9. Are conclusions supported by results with biases and limitations taken into consideration? Yes
  9.1. Is there a discussion of findings? Yes
  9.1. Is there a discussion of findings? Yes
  9.2. Are biases and study limitations identified and discussed? Yes
  9.2. Are biases and study limitations identified and discussed? Yes
  10. Is bias due to study's funding or sponsorship unlikely? Yes
10. Is bias due to study's funding or sponsorship unlikely? Yes
  10.1. Were sources of funding and investigators' affiliations described? Yes
  10.1. Were sources of funding and investigators' affiliations described? Yes
  10.2. Was the study free from apparent conflict of interest? Yes
  10.2. Was the study free from apparent conflict of interest? Yes