Background: Older adults with obesity residing in rural areas have reduced access to weight management programs. We determined the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary outcomes of an integrated technology-based health promotion intervention in rural-living, older adults using remote monitoring and synchronous video-based technology. Methods: A 6-month, non-randomized, non-blinded, single-arm study was conducted from October 2018 to May 2020 at a community-based aging center of adults aged ≥65 years with a body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2. Weekly dietitian visits focusing on behavior therapy and caloric restriction and twice-weekly physical therapist-led group strength, flexibility and balance training classes were delivered using video-conferencing to participants in their homes. Participants used a Fitbit Alta HR for remote monitoring with data feedback provided by the interventionists. An aerobic activity prescription was provided and monitored. Results: Mean age was 72.9±3.9 years (82% female). Baseline anthropometric measures of weight, BMI, and waist circumference were 97.8±16.3 kg, 36.5±5.2 kg/m2, and 115.5±13.0 cm, respectively. A total of 142 participants were screened (n=27 ineligible), and 53 consented. There were nine dropouts (17%). Overall satisfaction with the trial (4.7+ 0.6, scale: 1 (low) to 5 (high)) and with Fitbit (4.2+ 0.9) were high. Fitbit was worn an average of 81.7±19.3% of intervention days. In completers, mean weight loss was 4.6±3.5 kg or 4.7±3.5% (p< 0.001). Physical function measures of 30-s sit-to-stand repetitions increased from 13.5±5.7 to 16.7±5.9 (p< 0.001), 6-min walk improved by 42.0±77.3 m (p=0.005) but no differences were observed in gait speed or grip strength. Subjective measures of late-life function improved (3.4±4.7 points, p< 0.001). Conclusions: A technology-based obesity intervention is feasible and acceptable to older adults with obesity and may lead to weight loss and improved physical function. Clinical trial registration: Registered on Clinicaltrials.gov #NCT03104205. Registered on April 7, 2017. First participant enrolled on October 1st, 2018.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology