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Text Messaging for Weight Loss

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01736111
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 29, 2012
Last Update Posted : November 10, 2015
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Kevin Hwang, MD, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Brief Summary:

Overweight and obese adults recruited from the primary care setting (n=150) will be enrolled in a 6-month randomized trial of the INTERVENTION versus CONTROL. Both groups will receive usual medical care, printed materials, and educational text messages. The INTERVENTION group will also receive personalized coaching and feedback, as well as peer support, via text message.

The investigators hypothesize that compared to those in the Control group, patients in the Intervention group will lose more weight and demonstrate more favorable changes in fruit and vegetable intake, exercise, and social support for weight loss.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Behavioral: one way text Behavioral: Personal feedback Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 91 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Text Messaging for Weight Loss in Primary Care Patients
Study Start Date : October 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : March 2015

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Personal feedback

This arm will receive all intervention components of Active Comparator group, plus the following:

  1. Text messages to prompt participant to reply with self-monitoring entries
  2. Human coach uses system to send personalized text messages with feedback on self-monitoring entries
Behavioral: Personal feedback
Active Comparator: One Way Text
  1. Printed handouts from the "Aim for a Healthy Weight" booklet, which is published by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and is frequently included in control conditions in primary care-based weight loss studies.

    Other handouts will discuss the use of prepackaged foods as well as setting goals for calorie intake, physical activity, and weight loss.

  2. One to three text messages per week, based on topics from "Aim for a Healthy Weight" and other sources. The text messages will be pre-scheduled, automated, non-tailored, and "one-way" (no reply will be requested). The total dose of contact will be low because each text message is limited to 160 characters. The condition is comparable in intensity to control conditions in other weight loss trials in the primary care setting.
  3. Usual medical care from the PCP.
  4. Education on symptoms of hypoglycemia, hypotension, and cardiovascular disease, with instructions to contact their PCP in the event of those symptoms.
Behavioral: one way text

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in weight from baseline [ Time Frame: baseline and 6 months ]
    Weight in a lightweight hospital gown with no shoes (calibrated digital scale)

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in diet measured by Fruit and Vegetable Screener (NCI) [ Time Frame: baseline and 6 months ]
  2. Change in physical activity as measured by Paffenbarger physical activity questionnaire [ Time Frame: baseline and 6 months ]
  3. Change in social support as measured by Weight Management Support Inventory [ Time Frame: baseline and 6 months ]
    A validated questionnaire with 4 domains of social support for weight control (emotional, instrumental, informational, and appraisal)

  4. Change in executive function as measured by Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) [ Time Frame: baseline and 6 months ]
    Measures the individual's self-rated executive functioning.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Approved to participate by PCP (Patients with diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia will be eligible if approved by their PCP)
  • Age ≥ 21 years
  • Body mass index (BMI) 25 to 45 kg/m2 and weight ≤ 400 pounds
  • Goal of losing weight (not just maintain weight)
  • Willing to change diet, physical activity in order to lose weight.
  • Currently uses text messaging in English on mobile phone
  • Willing to use send and receive text messages for this study without direct compensation for cost of messages (general compensation for study participation will be provided)
  • Have a scale at home for self-monitoring weight
  • Fluent in English (speak, read, write)
  • Commit to return for follow-up weight at 6 months regardless of amount of weight lost

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Involuntary or voluntary weight loss of ≥ 5% body weight in previous 6 months
  • Participating in research project involving weight loss, exercise, or dietary modification in the previous 6 months
  • Any of the following medical conditions which could affect weight or for which weight loss is contraindicated

    • End-stage liver disease
    • End-stage kidney disease
    • Cancer within previous 2 years (except non-melanoma skin cancer)
  • Myocardial infarction, stroke, or transient ischemic attack within previous 6 months
  • Unstable angina
  • Severe arthritis or other medical conditions which would prevent brisk walking
  • Schizophrenia
  • Hospitalization for psychiatric problems during the prior 12 months.
  • Current use or anticipated future use (during 6 month study) of medications that could cause weight loss:

    • phentermine
    • orlistat (prescription Xenical or OTC Alli)
    • topiramate
    • buprioprion
    • exenatide (Byetta)
    • liraglutide (Victoza)
  • Prior bariatric surgery or plans for bariatric surgery in next 6 months
  • Pregnant or breast feeding within the previous 6 months
  • Planning to become pregnant in next 6 months
  • Consumes > 14 alcoholic drinks per week
  • Current use of illicit drugs
  • Planning to move out of the area in the next 6 months
  • Another member of household or a close contact is participating in the study

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01736111

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United States, Texas
UT Physicians - Internal Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Sponsors and Collaborators
The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
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Principal Investigator: Kevin O. Hwang, MD The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
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Responsible Party: Kevin Hwang, MD, Assistant Professor - Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston Identifier: NCT01736111    
Other Study ID Numbers: HSC-MS-12-0571
First Posted: November 29, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 10, 2015
Last Verified: November 2015
Keywords provided by Kevin Hwang, MD, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston:
weight loss
text message
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Weight Loss
Body Weight
Body Weight Changes