Feasibility and acceptability of a technology-based, rural weight management intervention in older adults with obesity
Batsis JA, Petersen CL, Clark MM, et al. (2021). Feasibility and acceptability of a technology-based, rural weight management intervention in older adults with obesity. BMC Geriatr 21, 44. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-020-01978-x
Researchers evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of technology-based health promotion program among 53 older adults (at least 65 years old) living in rural New England with body mass index of at least 30kg/m2 Participants were enrolled in a 26-week program that consisted of video-conference nutrition and exercise sessions and Fitbit device monitoring. A Samsung tablet and detailed instructions to connect to Wi-Fi was provided for each participant. A Fitbit with user instructions was also provided for each participant. A registered dietitian nutritionist delivered 18 individual 30-minute sessions centered on nutrition and 7 1-hour group sessions on caloric intake, vitamin D, and protein intake. Weekly food records and attendance were collected. A trained physical therapist also conducted 75-minute, twice-a-week video conference group sessions that focused on exercise. Exercise sessions included resistance, flexibility, and balance training. Participants were encouraged to complete 150 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic walking outside of the sessions. Feasibility, acceptability, and health outcomes were assessed at baseline, 2, 4, and 6 months. Participants reported a high overall satisfaction of the program and the Fitbit. The Fitbit was worn by participants for on average 81.7% of the intervention time. Completed participants observed a mean of 4.6kg loss of weight. The researchers found improvement in physical functioning test outcomes and subjective measures of late-life physical functioning. The researchers concluded that a technology-based obesity intervention is feasible and acceptable for older adults living in rural areas and can lead to weight loss and better physical functioning.