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Design and implementation of an interactive website to support long-term maintenance of weight loss.

Stevens VJ, Funk KL, Brantley PJ, Erlinger TP, Myers VH, Champagne CM, Bauck A, Samuel-Hodge CD, Hollis JF - J. Med. Internet Res. (2008)

Bottom Line: We tracked the proportion of participants with at least one log-in per month, and analyzed log-ins as a result of automated prompts.Email and telephone prompts appear to be very effective at helping participants sustain ongoing website use.Developing interactive websites is expensive, complex, and time consuming.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Kaiser Permanente, Center for Health Research, Portland, OR 97227, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: For most individuals, long-term maintenance of weight loss requires long-term, supportive intervention. Internet-based weight loss maintenance programs offer considerable potential for meeting this need. Careful design processes are required to maximize adherence and minimize attrition.

Objective: This paper describes the development, implementation and use of a Web-based intervention program designed to help those who have recently lost weight sustain their weight loss over 1 year.

Methods: The weight loss maintenance website was developed over a 1-year period by an interdisciplinary team of public health researchers, behavior change intervention experts, applications developers, and interface designers. Key interactive features of the final site include social support, self-monitoring, written guidelines for diet and physical activity, links to appropriate websites, supportive tools for behavior change, check-in accountability, tailored reinforcement messages, and problem solving and relapse prevention training. The weight loss maintenance program included a reminder system (automated email and telephone messages) that prompted participants to return to the website if they missed their check-in date. If there was no log-in response to the email and telephone automated prompts, a staff member called the participant. We tracked the proportion of participants with at least one log-in per month, and analyzed log-ins as a result of automated prompts.

Results: The mean age of the 348 participants enrolled in an ongoing randomized trial and assigned to use the website was 56 years; 63% were female, and 38% were African American. While weight loss data will not be available until mid-2008, website use remained high during the first year with over 80% of the participants still using the website during month 12. During the first 52 weeks, participants averaged 35 weeks with at least one log-in. Email and telephone prompts appear to be very effective at helping participants sustain ongoing website use.

Conclusions: Developing interactive websites is expensive, complex, and time consuming. We found that extensive paper prototyping well in advance of programming and a versatile product manager who could work with project staff at all levels of detail were essential to keeping the development process efficient.

Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov NCT00054925.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Overview of website design team; spheres and domains
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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figure1: Overview of website design team; spheres and domains

Mentions: Figure 1 displays an overview of the skills necessary for successfully designing an interactive behavior change website. Conceptual oversight, in this case the research project steering committee, determined the intervention’s overall goals and theoretical framework. The committee specified the objectives and scope of the website, set priorities and timelines, and kept current with related activities in other aspects of the research project. The role of the steering committee was to “think big” and provide scientific and conceptual guidance, but not to manage the project’s day-to-day implementation. Oversight decisions set the course for website design and, once determined, can be costly to reverse. The plans made by this group are “big picture” decisions, and documentation of these decisions is critical to the forward progress of website design. Allowing form and function details to distract this group can be a major pitfall.


Design and implementation of an interactive website to support long-term maintenance of weight loss.

Stevens VJ, Funk KL, Brantley PJ, Erlinger TP, Myers VH, Champagne CM, Bauck A, Samuel-Hodge CD, Hollis JF - J. Med. Internet Res. (2008)

Overview of website design team; spheres and domains
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2483846&req=5

figure1: Overview of website design team; spheres and domains
Mentions: Figure 1 displays an overview of the skills necessary for successfully designing an interactive behavior change website. Conceptual oversight, in this case the research project steering committee, determined the intervention’s overall goals and theoretical framework. The committee specified the objectives and scope of the website, set priorities and timelines, and kept current with related activities in other aspects of the research project. The role of the steering committee was to “think big” and provide scientific and conceptual guidance, but not to manage the project’s day-to-day implementation. Oversight decisions set the course for website design and, once determined, can be costly to reverse. The plans made by this group are “big picture” decisions, and documentation of these decisions is critical to the forward progress of website design. Allowing form and function details to distract this group can be a major pitfall.

Bottom Line: We tracked the proportion of participants with at least one log-in per month, and analyzed log-ins as a result of automated prompts.Email and telephone prompts appear to be very effective at helping participants sustain ongoing website use.Developing interactive websites is expensive, complex, and time consuming.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Kaiser Permanente, Center for Health Research, Portland, OR 97227, USA.

ABSTRACT

Background: For most individuals, long-term maintenance of weight loss requires long-term, supportive intervention. Internet-based weight loss maintenance programs offer considerable potential for meeting this need. Careful design processes are required to maximize adherence and minimize attrition.

Objective: This paper describes the development, implementation and use of a Web-based intervention program designed to help those who have recently lost weight sustain their weight loss over 1 year.

Methods: The weight loss maintenance website was developed over a 1-year period by an interdisciplinary team of public health researchers, behavior change intervention experts, applications developers, and interface designers. Key interactive features of the final site include social support, self-monitoring, written guidelines for diet and physical activity, links to appropriate websites, supportive tools for behavior change, check-in accountability, tailored reinforcement messages, and problem solving and relapse prevention training. The weight loss maintenance program included a reminder system (automated email and telephone messages) that prompted participants to return to the website if they missed their check-in date. If there was no log-in response to the email and telephone automated prompts, a staff member called the participant. We tracked the proportion of participants with at least one log-in per month, and analyzed log-ins as a result of automated prompts.

Results: The mean age of the 348 participants enrolled in an ongoing randomized trial and assigned to use the website was 56 years; 63% were female, and 38% were African American. While weight loss data will not be available until mid-2008, website use remained high during the first year with over 80% of the participants still using the website during month 12. During the first 52 weeks, participants averaged 35 weeks with at least one log-in. Email and telephone prompts appear to be very effective at helping participants sustain ongoing website use.

Conclusions: Developing interactive websites is expensive, complex, and time consuming. We found that extensive paper prototyping well in advance of programming and a versatile product manager who could work with project staff at all levels of detail were essential to keeping the development process efficient.

Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov NCT00054925.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus