Publication Abstract

Authors: Rothert K, Strecher VJ, Doyle LA, Caplan WM, Joyce JS, Jimison HB, Karm LM, Mims AD, Roth MA

Title: Web-based weight management programs in an integrated health care setting: a randomized, controlled trial.

Journal: Obesity (Silver Spring) 14(2):266-72

Date: 2006 Feb

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of a Web-based tailored behavioral weight management program compared with Web-based information-only weight management materials. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Participants, 2862 eligible overweight and obese (BMI = 27 to 40 kg/m2) members from four regions of Kaiser Permanente's integrated health care delivery system, were randomized to receive either a tailored expert system or information-only Web-based weight management materials. Weight change and program satisfaction were assessed by self-report through an Internet-based survey at 3- and 6-month follow-up periods. RESULTS: Significantly greater weight loss at follow-up was found among participants assigned to the tailored expert system than among those assigned to the information-only condition. Subjects in the tailored expert system lost a mean of 3 +/- 0.3% of their baseline weight, whereas subjects in the information-only condition lost a mean of 1.2 +/- 0.4% (p < 0.0004). Participants were also more likely to report that the tailored expert system was personally relevant, helpful, and easy to understand. Notably, 36% of enrollees were African-American, with enrollment rates higher than the general proportion of African Americans in any of the study regions. DISCUSSION: The results of this large, randomized control trial show the potential benefit of the Web-based tailored expert system for weight management compared with a Web-based information-only weight management program.