Phone Versus Clinical Approach to Weight Loss

2014-08-27 03:14:53 | BioPortfolio


Weight loss and maintenance continues to be problematic for individuals who are overweight or obese. State-of-the-art treatment generally involves a behavioral weight loss clinic that emphasizes nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle changes and is delivered face-to-face between health educators and small groups of participants. This delivery system is time consuming, expensive, and presents numerous barriers to the participant. We have developed a phone based delivery system that eliminates many of these barriers by substituting group conference calls for clinics and by delivering weight loss materials and products directly to the participant.

Hypothesis 1: We expect equivalent weight loss from baseline for phone and clinic groups and have defined equivalence as no greater than 4 kg difference between groups based on our pilot data and potential for clinical significance.

Hypothesis 2: During weight maintenance it is likely that participants will experience some weight re-gain. We expect both phone and clinic groups to re-gain a similar amount of weight and that weight for both groups at 18 months will be significantly less than baseline weights.

Hypothesis 3: We will complete a cost analysis to determine which delivery method is more economical. Specifically, we expect the phone delivery system to be more cost effective than that of the in-person clinics.


Weight loss and maintenance continues to be problematic for individuals who are overweight or obese. State-of-the-art treatment is delivered face-to-face between care providers and small groups of participants and this is time consuming, expensive, and presents numerous barriers to the participant such as travel, conflict with work and home, need for child care, loss of anonymity, and others as well as the care provider such as office space, meeting rooms, inventory, etc. A pilot study of a phone based delivery system versus a traditional clinic has been completed with no difference in weight loss. The phone approach may eliminate many of the barriers of a traditional clinic by substituting conference calls for clinics and by delivering weight loss materials and products directly to the participant. In this fashion, the care provider and participants can reside in any location and receive the same information by conference phone call as that provided by clinic, and receive educational materials, weight management products, etc. by air or ground transportation.

This proposed investigation is a randomized, equivalency trial to test the effectiveness of a phone based weight management program compared to a traditional face-to-face clinic program for weight loss and weight maintenance. It is expected that at 6 months participants in the phone and clinic groups will show equivalent weight loss and that weight loss will be at least 10% lower than baseline. During weight maintenance some weight gain may occur. However, we expect both phone and clinic groups to gain a similar amount of weight and that weight for both groups at 18 months will be significantly less than baseline weights.

A formal cost analysis will be used to determine differences between phone and clinic approaches and extensive process analysis will be used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data to assess how well the programs were implemented as originally designed, challenges and barriers to effective implementation, initial and continual use of program specified activities, quality assurance measures, etc.

Relevance: If successful, the phone approach may eliminate many of the barriers inherent to the traditional face-to-face clinic, may be less expensive, and would potentially open weight management to any individual with access to a phone. We believe the likelihood of translation of this research to the public sector would seem reasonable and promising.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Prevention




Phone versus Clinic Weight Management Programs


Energy Balance Lab, The University of Kansas
United States


Active, not recruiting


University of Kansas

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:14:53-0400

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