Are computer-based interventions for weight loss effective?

From: The Cochrane Collaboration

Journal rating:
rating: 98%
Study Quality:
rating: 100%
%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 50%
Partcipants
rating: 50%

Participants/situation

  • 18 trials with 4,140 participants

Study

  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped together to form an overall outcome.

Results

  • At 6 months, computer-based interventions led to greater weight loss than minimal interventions (average weight loss of 1.5kg), but less weight loss than in-person treatment (average 2.1 kg).
  • At 6 months, computer-based interventions were superior to a minimal interventions in limiting weight regain, but was not as effective as infrequent in-person treatment.
  • Compared to no intervention or minimal interventions (pamphlets, usual care), interactive computer-based programs are an effective intervention for weight loss and weight maintenance.
  • Compared to in-person interventions, interactive computer-based programs result in smaller weight losses and lower levels of weight maintenance.
  • Treatment duration was between four weeks and 30 months.

Answer

  • Yes (without confidence); when compared to minimal interventions such as pamphlets.

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