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J Am Diet Assoc. 2004 Jan;104(1):76-85.

Additional self-monitoring tools in the dietary modification component of The Women's Health Initiative.

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Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Self-monitoring promotes behavior changes by promoting awareness of eating habits and creates self-efficacy. It is an important component of the Women's Health Initiative dietary intervention. During the first year of intervention, 74% of the total sample of 19,542 dietary intervention participants self-monitored. As the study progressed the self-monitoring rate declined to 59% by spring 2000. Participants were challenged by inability to accurately estimate fat content of restaurant foods and the inconvenience of carrying bulky self-monitoring tools. In 1996, a Self-Monitoring Working Group was organized to develop additional self-monitoring options that were responsive to participant needs. This article describes the original and additional self-monitoring tools and trends in tool use over time. Original tools were the Food Diary and Fat Scan. Additional tools include the Keeping Track of Goals, Quick Scan, Picture Tracker, and Eating Pattern Changes instruments. The additional tools were used by the majority of participants (5,353 of 10,260 or 52% of participants who were self-monitoring) by spring 2000. Developing self-monitoring tools that are responsive to participant needs increases the likelihood that self-monitoring can enhance dietary reporting adherence, especially in long-term clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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