Using Synchronous Distance-Education Technology to Deliver a Weight Management Intervention
Objective: To compare the effectiveness of online delivery of a weight management program using synchronous (real-time), distance-education technology to in-person delivery. Methods: Synchronous, distance-education technology was used to conduct weekly sessions for participants with a live instructor. Program effectiveness was indicated by changes in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and confidence in ability to eat healthy and be physically active. Results: Online class participants (n = 398) had significantly greater reductions in BMI, weight, and waist circumference than in-person class participants (n = 1,313). Physical activity confidence increased more for in-person than online class participants. There was no difference for healthy eating confidence. Conclusions and Implications: This project demonstrates the feasibility of using synchronous distance-education technology to deliver a weight management program. Synchronous online delivery could be employed with no loss to improvements in BMI, weight, and waist circumference. © 2014 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Dunn, C; Whetstone, LM; Kolasa, KM; Jayaratne, KSUJ; Thomas, C; Aggarwal, S; Nordby, K; Riley, KEM
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