A Qualitative Pilot Study on Text Messaging Intervention for Weight Loss in Adults

Qiu, Kai Tai Kevin and Etchegary, Holly (2020) A Qualitative Pilot Study on Text Messaging Intervention for Weight Loss in Adults. Research Report. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. (Submitted)

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Background Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) has the highest rates of overweight and obesity of all provinces in Canada. Mobile health or mhealth in the form of text messaging is a potential solution to addressing the high overweight and obesity rates of the province. In this study, we explored NL residents’ perceptions of text message programs as an effective intervention for weight loss. Methods This study utilized a descriptive qualitative design through in-person semi-structured interviews with adults with previous or current experience in a weight loss program. Participants were recruited through recurrent postings on a biweekly school newsletter and study posters throughout the medical school at Memorial University. The data were analyzed using deductive thematic analysis. Results This pilot study included two participants, both women. The themes that arose in this study included past positive experiences, past negative experiences, barriers for weight loss, motivation for weight loss, attitudes about text messaging-based weight loss interventions and specific suggestions for future app development. The latter included text message content with reminders and encouragement, group messages, interactive and personal text messages and specific goal-setting in the app. Interpretation There were mixed attitudes towards using a text messaging based intervention. Findings revealed motivating factors of accountability, seeing positive physical bodily changes and goal-setting. Both participants had similar suggestions regarding future app development that involved creating a personalized and interactive experience for the users and to include a sense of community and communication across users of the app.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14241
Item ID: 14241
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 2020
Date Type: Submission
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