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Effect of adherence to self-monitoring of diet and physical activity on weight loss in a technology-supported behavioral intervention

Authors Wang J, Sereika S, Chasens E, Ewing, Matthews, Burke L

Received 5 December 2011

Accepted for publication 9 February 2012

Published 22 March 2012 Volume 2012:6 Pages 221—226


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Jing Wang1, Susan M Sereika2,3, Eileen R Chasens2, Linda J Ewing4, Judith T Matthews2,5, Lora E Burke2,3

1School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 2School of Nursing, 3Graduate School of Public Health, 4School of Medicine, 5University Center for Social and Urban Research, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Background: Examination of mediating behavioral factors could explain how an intervention works and thus provide guidance to optimize behavioral weight-loss programs. This study examined the mediating role of adherence to self-monitoring of diet and physical activity on weight loss in a behavioral weight-loss trial testing the use of personal digital assistants (PDA) for self-monitoring.
Methods: Mediation analysis was conducted to examine the possible mediating role of adherence to self-monitoring of diet and physical activity between treatments using varying self-monitoring methods (paper record, PDA, and PDA with daily tailored feedback messages) and weight loss.
Findings: The sample (N = 210) was predominantly white (78%) and female (85%). Compared to a paper record, using a PDA for self-monitoring diet (P = 0.027) and physical activity (P = 0.014) had significant direct effects on weight loss at 12 months, as well as a significant indirect effect on outcomes through improved adherence to self-monitoring (PS < 0.001). Receiving an automated daily feedback message via PDA only had a significant indirect effect on weight through self-monitoring adherence to diet (P = 0.004) and physical activity (P = 0.002).
Conclusions: Adherence to self-monitoring of diet and physical activity is important as the underlying mechanism in this technology-supported behavioral weight-loss intervention.

Keywords: behavioral intervention, self-monitoring, mobile technology, mediation analysis, weight loss, adherence

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