Severe obesity among youths (BMI for age≥120th percentile) has been steadily increasing. The home environment and parental behavioral modeling are two of the strongest predictors of child weight loss during weight loss interventions, which highlights that a family-based treatment approach is warranted. This strategy has been successful in our existing evidence-based pediatric weight management program, Brenner Families in Training (Brenner FIT). However, this program relies on face-to-face encounters, which are limited by the time constraints of the families enrolled in treatment.
This study aims to refine and test a tailored suite of mobile health (mHealth) components to augment an existing evidence-based pediatric weight management program.
Study outcomes will include acceptability from a patient and clinical staff perspective, feasibility, and economic costs relative to the established weight management protocol alone (ie, Brenner FIT vs Brenner FIT + mHealth [Brenner mFIT]). The Brenner mFIT intervention will consist of 6 mHealth components designed to increase patient and caregiver exposure to Brenner FIT programmatic content including the following: (1) a mobile-enabled website, (2) dietary and physical activity tracking, (3) caregiver podcasts (n=12), (4) animated videos (n=6) for adolescent patients, (5) interactive messaging, and (6) in-person tailored clinical feedback provided based on a web-based dashboard. For the study, 80 youths with obesity (aged 13-18 years) and caregiver dyads will be randomized to Brenner FIT or Brenner mFIT. All participants will complete baseline measures before randomization and at 3- and 6-month follow-up points.
This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board in July 2019, funded in August 2019, and will commence enrollment in April 2020. The results of the study are expected to be published in the fall/winter of 2021.
The results of this study will be used to inform a large-scale implementation-effectiveness clinical trial.