Pregnant patients with overweight or obesity are at high risk for perinatal complications. Excess gestational weight gain (GWG) further exacerbates this risk. Mobile health (mHealth) lifestyle interventions that leverage technology to facilitate self-monitoring and provide just-in-time feedback may motivate behavior change to reduce excess GWG, reduce intervention costs, and increase scalability by improving access. This study aimed to test the acceptability and feasibility of a pilot mHealth lifestyle intervention for pregnant patients with overweight or obesity to promote moderate intensity physical activity (PA), encourage guideline-concordant GWG, and inform the design of a larger pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial. We conducted a mixed methods acceptability and feasibility randomized controlled trial among pregnant patients with a prepregnancy BMI of 25 to 40 kg/m2. Patients with singletons at 8 to 15 weeks of gestation who were aged ≥21 years and had Wi-Fi access were recruited via email from 2 clinics within Kaiser Permanente Northern California and randomized to receive usual prenatal care or an mHealth lifestyle intervention. Participants in the intervention arm received wireless scales, access to an intervention website, activity trackers to receive automated feedback on weight gain and activity goals, and monthly calls from a lifestyle coach. Surveys and focus groups with intervention participants assessed intervention satisfaction and ways to improve the intervention. PA outcomes were self-assessed using the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire, and GWG was assessed using electronic health record data for both arms. Overall, 33 patients were randomly assigned to the intervention arm, and 35 patients were randomly assigned to the usual care arm. All participants in the intervention arm weighed themselves at least once a week, compared with 20% (7/35) of the participants in the usual care arm. Participants in the intervention arm wore the activity tracker 6.4 days per week and weighed themselves 5.3 times per week, and 88% (29/33) of them rated the program “good to excellent.” Focus groups found that participants desired more nutrition-related support to help them manage GWG and would have preferred an app instead of a website. Participants in the intervention arm had a 23.46 metabolic equivalent of task hours greater change in total PA per week and a 247.2-minute greater change in moderate intensity PA per week in unadjusted models, but these effects were attenuated in adjusted models (change in total PA: 15.55 metabolic equivalent of task hours per week; change in moderate intensity PA: 199.6 minutes per week). We found no difference in total GWG (mean difference 1.14 kg) compared with usual care. The pilot mHealth lifestyle intervention was feasible, highly acceptable, and promoted self-monitoring. Refined interventions are needed to effectively affect PA and GWG among pregnant patients with overweight or obesity. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03936283; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03936283.
A Web-Based mHealth Intervention With Telephone Support to Increase Physical Activity Among Pregnant Patients With Overweight or Obesity: Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial
Authors: Thomas, Tainayah; Xu, Fei; Sridhar, Sneha; Sedgwick, Tali; Nkemere, Linda; Badon, Sylvia E; Quesenberry, Charles; Ferrara, Assiamira; Mandel, Sarah; Brown, Susan D; Hedderson, Monique
JMIR Form Res. 2022 Jun 22;6(6):e33929. Epub 2022-06-22.