Integrating technology into standard weight loss treatment a randomized controlled trial

Bonnie Spring*, Jennifer M. Duncan, E. Amy Janke, Andrea T. Kozak, H. Gene McFadden, Andrew Demott, Alex Pictor, Leonard H. Epstein, Juned Siddique, Christine A. Pellegrini, Joanna Buscemi, Donald Hedeker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Background: A challenge in intensive obesity treatment is making care scalable. Little is known about whether the outcome of physician-directed weight loss treatment can be improved by adding mobile technology. Methods: We conducted a 2-arm, 12-month study (October 1,2007, through September 31,2010). Seventy adults (body mass index >25 and ≤40 [calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared]) were randomly assigned either to standard-of-care group treatment alone (standard group) or to the standard and connective mobile technology system (+mobile group). Participants attended biweekly weight loss groups held by the Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic. The + mobile group was provided personal digital assistants to self-monitor diet and physical activity; they also received biweekly coaching calls for 6 months. Weight was measured at baseline and at 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month follow-up. mean of 3.9 kg more (representing 3.1% more weight loss relative to the control group;95% CI, 2.2-5.5 kg) than the standard group at each postbaseline time point. Compared with the standard group, the + mobile group had significantly greater odds of having lost 5% or more of their baseline weight at each postbaseline time point (odds ratio, 6.5;95% CI, 2.5-18.6). Conclusions: The addition of a personal digital assistant and telephone coaching can enhance short-term weight loss in combination with an existing system of care. Mobile connective technology holds promise as a scalable mechanism for augmenting the effect of physician-directed weight loss treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalJAMA internal medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating technology into standard weight loss treatment a randomized controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this