mDiet: A Text Message Intervention for Weight Loss
The SMS based intervention will be developed through formative research including focus
groups, cognitive interviews, and a pilot test of a Spanish version of mDIET. The focus
groups will be conducted with both English and Spanish speaking men and women to 1) learn
more about the content areas to be addressed in the intervention including physical activity
and sedentary behaviors to expand on previous research; 2) learn more about assessing
equivalence and compatibility in intervention messages in English and Spanish; 3) identify
the most culturally and linguistically appropriate messages; 4) assess text message use; 5)
identify factors that influence food and physical activity decisions; and 6) identify health
messages that Latinos see as most understandable, credible, and persuasive, cognitive
interviews, and a pilot test of a Spanish version of mDIET. The cognitive interviews will
be conducted in Spanish and will help inform translation of study materials (text messages
and measures) from English to Spanish. An 8-week pilot test of the Latino (Spanish
language) mDIET will be conducted to ensure that the text messages and SMS system works as
expected in terms of usability and acceptability.
The randomized controlled trial will be a 12-month intervention with 309 study participants.
Participants will be randomized to one of three groups: SMS-only, SMS plus phone
counseling, and a control group (Details of the study arms are discussed in another
section). The goals of the intervention groups (SMS-only and SMS plus phone counseling)
include: 5% weight loss, 500 k/cal per day deficit through reduced caloric intake and
increased energy expenditure, 12,00 steps through the use of a pedometer, and a reduction in
sedentary behaviors. Participants will receive daily text messages, self-monitoring tools,
and brief health promotion printed or wed materials on physical activity, nutrition, or
other weight loss related topics. Participants will complete physiological and survey
measures at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months to assess weight (BMI), physical activity and
diet behaviors, psychosocial behaviors, environmental factors, and exposure and satisfaction
with the program.
Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Prevention
To evaluate differences from baseline in percent weight loss at 12 months. We hypothesize that, compared to the usual care Standard Print condition differences in weight loss will be significant in both the SMS only (SMS = short message service or text message) and SMS+Phone intervention groups.
Kevin Patrick, MD, MS
United States: Institutional Review Board
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