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JMIR Cancer. 2017 Sep 27;3(2):e16. doi: 10.2196/cancer.7166.

Comparison of Internet and Telephone Interventions for Weight Loss Among Cancer Survivors: Randomized Controlled Trial and Feasibility Study.

Author information

1
Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO, United States.
2
Center for Energy Balance In Cancer Prevention and Survivorship, Department of Behavioral Science, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, United States.
3
Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, United States.
4
Tobacco Treatment Program, Department of Behavioral, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, United States.
5
Department of Biostatistics, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, United States.
6
Department of Breast Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, United States.
7
Department of Urology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, United States.
8
Department of Surgical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX, United States.
9
Division of Medical Oncology, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO, United States.
10
Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Weight loss interventions have been successfully delivered via several modalities, but recent research has focused on more disseminable and sustainable means such as telephone- or Internet-based platforms.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to compare an Internet-delivered weight loss intervention to a comparable telephone-delivered weight loss intervention.

METHODS:

This randomized pilot study examined the effects of 6-month telephone- and Internet-delivered social cognitive theory-based weight loss interventions among 37 cancer survivors. Measures of body composition, physical activity, diet, and physical performance were the outcomes of interest.

RESULTS:

Participants in the telephone intervention (n=13) showed greater decreases in waist circumference (-0.75 cm for telephone vs -0.09 cm for Internet, P=.03) than the Internet condition (n=24), and several other outcomes trended in the same direction. Measures of engagement (eg, number of telephone sessions completed and number of log-ins) suggest differences between groups which may account for the difference in outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cancer survivors in the telephone group evidenced better health outcomes than the Internet group. Group differences may be due to higher engagement in the telephone group. Incorporating a telephone-based component into existing weight loss programs for cancer survivors may help enhance the reach of the intervention while minimizing costs. More research is needed on how to combine Internet and telephone weight loss intervention components so as to maximize engagement and outcomes.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01311856; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01311856 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6tKdklShY).

KEYWORDS:

Internet; cancer survivors; telephone; weight loss intervention

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