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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

Steps in the website development process
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figure2: Steps in the website development process

Mentions: The second phase of successful website design involves a clearly communicated stepwise process that outlines the development pathway of each interactive module. The design process described here assumes that the final website product is a unified collection of individually developed modules. The product manager maintains an ongoing record of each module’s progress (outlined in Figure 2). There are several key factors involved in successfully moving through the website development process. The concept design step requires a written purpose that provides a “compass” for future design considerations.


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)

Steps in the website development process
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

figure2: Steps in the website development process
Mentions: The second phase of successful website design involves a clearly communicated stepwise process that outlines the development pathway of each interactive module. The design process described here assumes that the final website product is a unified collection of individually developed modules. The product manager maintains an ongoing record of each module’s progress (outlined in Figure 2). There are several key factors involved in successfully moving through the website development process. The concept design step requires a written purpose that provides a “compass” for future design considerations.

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