Newswise — NEW YORK – August 29, 2014 - Despite US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for screening and treating obesity, there are many barriers, several of which may be ameliorated through technological approaches according to a new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center published online August 21, 2014 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM).
David Levine, MD, MA, a third year resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, and colleagues found that compared to usual care, technology-assisted interventions specifically in the primary care setting help patients achieve weight loss. The researchers analyzed data from clinical trials from the medical literature since the year 2000 through a rigorous systematic review methodology. They found:
• Weight loss up to 5.4 kilograms (12 pounds) over a 36 month period with the use of technology-assisted interventions
• Technologies included
o Web-based applications (such as www.heart360.org);
o In-home DVD programs;
o Software that guided doctors to better counsel their patients; and
o Self-monitoring and feedback systems.
• Technology-assisted weight loss compared favorably to traditional counseling and Pharmacotherapy options (e.g., FDA-approved diet pills), while allowing for remote treatment.
• The doctor, compared to health coaches, dieticians, or nurse practitioners, was most often studied and was capable of delivering these technology-assisted weight loss interventions in the outpatient clinic
Challenges still remain, including poor web utilization, improving ease-of-use for both provider and patient, allowing open access to technologies, and keeping pace with industry.
Weight loss is a common discussion in primary care, and thanks to this study, it is now one that should include technology-assisted interventions. This study helps providers recognize the utility and evidence-based option that technology-assisted weight loss interventions offer their primary care patients. Melanie Jay, MD, the study’s senior author and Dr. Levine both noted, “We were very pleased that after critically looking at all of the available data, technology-assisted weight loss interventions can be successfully used in primary care practice.”
Study authors include David Levine, MD, MA, PGY 3, Internal Medicine, NYU School of Medicine; Melanie Jay, MD, MS, assistant professor, Departments of Medicine and Population Health, VA New York Harbor and NYU School of Medicine; Joseph Nicholson, MLIS, MPH, assistant curator; Education and Curriculum Librarian, NYU School of Medicine; Allison Squires, PhD, RN, assistant professor, NYU College of Nursing; Stella Savarimuthu, BA, medical student, Hofstra School of Medicine.
Funding for this study was provided by the Veteran Affairs Career Development Award.
About NYU Langone Medical Center
NYU Langone Medical Center, a world-class, patient-centered, integrated academic medical center, is one of the nation’s premier centers for excellence in clinical care, biomedical research, and medical education. Located in the heart of Manhattan, NYU Langone is composed of four hospitals—Tisch Hospital, its flagship acute care facility; Rusk Rehabilitation; the Hospital for Joint Diseases, the Medical Center’s dedicated inpatient orthopaedic hospital; and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, a comprehensive pediatric hospital supporting a full array of children’s health services across the Medical Center—plus the NYU School of Medicine, which since 1841 has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history. The Medical Center’s tri-fold mission to serve, teach, and discover is achieved 365 days a year through the seamless integration of a culture devoted to excellence in patient care, education, and research. For more information, go to www.NYULMC.org, and interact with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.