The Helpmedoit! weight loss trial: Main results

Simpson, S. (2018) The Helpmedoit! weight loss trial: Main results. International Journal of Behavioural Medicine 25(1):S159-S160. Meeting abstract: 15th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, Santiago, Chile, 14-17 Nov 2018. (doi: 10.1007/s12529-018-9740-1)

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Introduction: Helpmedoit! is an innovative weight loss intervention using a website and app that harnesses social support by enabling participants to nominate friends and family to help them. The aim of the study is to test the feasibility of the intervention in supporting adults with obesity to achieve weight loss goals. Methods: Feasibility randomised controlled trial and process evaluation. Participants were adults interested in losing weight, BMI ≥30 kg/m2. The intervention group (and their helpers) had access to the app/website. Participants nominated one or more helpers to support them. The control group received a leaflet on healthy lifestyle. Follow-up data were collected at 12 months, focussing on the progression criteria for the trial and the feasibility of delivering the intervention and the trial methods. The study assessed: (i) recruitment and retention; (ii) usability and acceptability of the app/website and (iii) three primary outcomes: BMI, physical activity (7 Day PAR and accelerometer) and diet (DINE and multiple-pass 24 hour recall) for use in a full trial. Statistical analyses focussed on feasibility outcomes and initial estimates of effects. Results: 109 participants were recruited and 84 (77%) were retained at 12 months. Three quarters of the participants used the app at least once and over half used it three times or more. Technical problems with the app in the initial stages hampered engagement. However, qualitative data indicated that the intervention was acceptable and participants liked the intervention concept. The primary outcome measures were feasible to use apart from the multiple pass 24 hour dietary recall which was not collected at follow-up. Conclusions: The intervention was acceptable to participants and the trial methods feasible. The progression criteria were achieved which supports progression to a full trial. Social support is crucial in helping people achieve and sustain lifestyle behaviour change and this intervention is a novel way of mobilising that support.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Simpson, Professor Sharon
Authors: Simpson, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727661SPHSU Core Renewal: Complexity in Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
620221MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU14