ENGAGED: E-Networks Guiding Adherence to Goals for Exercise and Diet

2014-08-27 03:16:33 | BioPortfolio


The ENGAGED study is a randomized controlled trial investigating different strategies to improve weight loss in overweight individuals. All participants in the study will receive free state-of-the art behavioral weight loss treatment in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University. Treatment involves taking part in 8 weekly, 90 minute group sessions in our clinic at 680 N. Lakeshore Dr. During these meetings, participants will learn proven behavioral strategies for weight loss. Each participant will also be assigned an individual coach, who will communicate with them regularly via phone, email, and/or text message for the duration of the study. Participants must be willing and able to record food and beverage intake (either on a smartphone or on paper) and wear an unobtrusive, physical activity measurement device for the entire six-months of the study. In addition to participating in the treatment, participants will complete 2 follow up visits to our study at months 3 and 6 of the study.


The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) intensive lifestyle intervention is the gold standard weight loss treatment for adults with cardiometabolic risk factors. Despite its efficacy, the DPP has not been widely adopted, because its 16 individual, face-to-face sessions with a specialist are considered too burdensome and expensive to be a sustainable program. Attempts to reduce cost by decreasing session number have yielded greatly diminished weight loss. Behavioral adherence to diet and activity goals declines and weight regain routinely begins once frequent face-to-face meetings cease. The still unmet challenge of DPP implementation is how to reduce treatment intensity without excising the regular social support, accountability, and feedback that are essential to maintain adherence. We hypothesize that it is feasible to implement DPP Intensive Lifestyle Treatment as effectively but twice as efficiently by using hand held technology to preserve feedback, accountability, and regular social support. The smartphone-based technology system to be tested is guided by Carver and Scheier's control systems theory of self-regulation. Initial formative research will upgrade the smartphone with engaging features that motivate participants to use the device to self-monitor and interact with a coach and peer support group. Use of the finalized tool will be compared to usual recording on paper records in a preliminary 2-group randomized controlled trial (RCT) involving 64 obese adults. By enabling peer support, accountability, and feedback on diet, physical activity, and weight loss goals continuously through the 6-month intervention period, the ENGAGED system is expected to enhance (1) behavioral adherence [operationalized by (a) self-monitoring of diet and activity and (b) attainment of diet and activity goals], and (2) weight loss. An enabling technology that integrates specialist and peer support resources to improve treatment adherence could help to curtail the obesity epidemic by increasing the efficiency, feasibility, and reach of effective DPP lifestyle intervention.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment, Primary Purpose: Treatment




Technology Supported, Gold Standard


Northwestern University
United States


Not yet recruiting


Northwestern University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:16:33-0400

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