Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals with the Online Automated Obesity Treatment Program

“Our research shows that primary care physicians can help their patients looking to lose weight by offering them an online program,” said Dr. J. Graham Thomas. automatically based on behavioral science at very low cost and without overloading busy providers. Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University and associate director of the Center for Diabetes & Weight Control Research at Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI Thomas is the corresponding author. of research.

Breaking down barriers to obesity management

Experts note that primary care is often where obesity is addressed first, but primary care physicians often have few resources to offer patients for weight loss. When weight loss resources are available, they are often expensive and may have other barriers that make them difficult to access, such as the requirement of frequent clinic visits.


Previous trials of behavioral obesity treatment performed in a primary care setting typically involved an in-depth investigator to treat and/or maintain participants’ involvement with research.

The current study is one of the first times that a fully automated obesity treatment program has been field tested in a large primary care network with clinicians responsible for identifying patients. , provide the program and support its use.

As part of routine primary care, healthcare providers and 16 nurse care managers offer a free, online obesity treatment program called Rx Weight Loss ( RxWL) for 1,765 patients at Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corp. — a primary care practice organization that includes approximately 60 practices with 100 physicians. Eligible patients were aged between 18 and 75 years with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2 and internet access.

The majority of the 464 patients who ended up enrolling in the program and entering treatment were white and female. Two percent of the sample identified as Hispanic or Latino and African American/Black ethnicity. The program includes 12 weekly online sessions, a self-monitoring and automated response program.

The average weight loss over 12 weeks was 5.10%. The researchers noted that most e-health obesity treatments reported an average weight loss of 2.5% of baseline body weight at 12 or 24 weeks.

Patients who reported their weight over all 12 weeks lost an estimated 7.2% of their weight compared to 3.4% in those less often. Patients who attended all 12 video lessons lost an estimated 8% weight compared with 4.2% in patients who watched fewer lessons. Neither BMI, gender nor racial/ethnic group identification were associated with these interactive measures but age was associated with greater number of lessons viewed.

Thomas A.Wadden, PhD, Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, says: , University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., and Adam H. Gilden, MD, MSCE, Center Anschutz Center for Health and Wellness and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, in a commentary on the program. Wadden and Gilden were not involved in the study.

The study’s authors recognize that further research will help determine whether the small number of men and racial/ethnic minorities enrolled in this program are a result of disease characteristics. whether or not patients are seen in these practices, a bias on the part of clinicians in referring patients or a lack of interest in these patients’ weight loss. Efforts to increase initial engagement with the program will help determine the program’s effectiveness in patients who may be less motivated to lose weight.

Source: Eurekalert

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