Integrating behaviour change techniques and digital technology for dietitian support in weight management cases

Josephine Wills, Raymond Gemen, Michelle Harricharan, Julie Barnett, Anne de Looy

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract

Abstract

Background: myPace is a collaborative project between the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), Bath University in the UK, White October (software developer) and the European Federation of the Associations of Dietitians (EFAD). The project sought to develop technology, including a smartphone application, to integrate into dietetic practice to support weight management.

Methods: A programme of open, collaborative qualitative research with dietitians and consumers informed the conceptualisation, design, development and evaluation of technology to support dietitians in their practice. Data was collected with dietitians (n = 75) in five European countries using face-to-face interviews and two online surveys.

Results:  Participating dietitians and consumers expressed a need for technology that provided an extension of the professional/patient relationship in-between consultations. They requested a tool that could be embedded into established healthcare practice as well as the day-to-day routines of food purchase, consumption, movement and exercise. Informed by established behaviour change theory and practical dietetic experience, myPace takes a scalable, integrative, ‘small steps’ approach to weight loss, incorporating elements of monitoring and motivation. Goal-based behaviour and ‘perception’ tracking allow users to understand their unique triggers for eating and activity behaviours and assist dietitians in personalising treatment.

Outlook: A proof of concept randomised control trial (RCT) of the weight management-supporting smartphone application, myPace, will be conducted in the UK, to evaluate the way the intervention works in a real world setting both with dietitians and their clients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129–176
JournalObesity Reviews
Volume15
Issue numberS2
Early online date13 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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