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Development and feasibility study of an app (Ladle) for weight loss and behaviour change

Ogden, J., Maxwell, H. and Wong, A. (2019) Development and feasibility study of an app (Ladle) for weight loss and behaviour change PeerJ.

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Background: Weight management interventions involving behaviour change often utilise face to face interventions which include evidence based behaviour change strategies yet are costly and time intensive. In contrast, digital interventions cost less and have a wider reach yet tend to lack an evidence base and are less effective.

Aims: The present study therefore aimed to develop an evidence based behaviour change low cost app for weight management and to provide a preliminary analysis of its effectiveness.

Methods: The Ladle app was developed through evidence review and feedback from health care professionals and patients and consists of a 12 week course focusing on 6 habits and weight loss facilitated through 36 audio psychological lessons and 12 lessons specifically on the 6 habits. Each lesson was between 2-5 minutes (approx. 168 minutes of lessons). It was evaluated in terms of completion rate, weight loss, adoption of the 6 habits and participant feedback.

Results: The results showed a completion rate of 44%, that 52% of Completers showed weight loss of at least 5%, 79% showed weight loss of at least 3%, the median % weight lost was -5% and the median weight loss was -3.8kg. Further, by the end of 12 weeks the majority (>80%) of participants had adopted 4 of the 6 habits for at least 5 days a week and nearly half (45%) had adopted the remaining 2 habits for at least 4 days out of 7. Feedback comments were mainly positive (n=80) focusing mostly on the content of the lessons. Some comments were neutral (n=56) and involved a statement of commitment or a description of a challenge and a minority were negative (n=23) describing some technical issues which were addressed as the evaluation progressed.

Conclusion: The new Ladle app offers an evidenced based alternative to more intensive face to face interventions. On preliminary analysis it would seem to have lower completion rates than some more intensive interventions but comparable effectiveness for weight loss. It can also improve habits and is less time-intensive and costly to deliver. Participant feedback was generally positive.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Maxwell, H.
Wong, A.
Date : 2019
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2019 Ogden et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 03 May 2019 09:04
Last Modified : 03 May 2019 09:04

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