Objective: This paper first illustrates the general potential of the short message service (SMS) for symptom and behavior monitoring and the provision of tailored feedback. Second, an SMS-based maintenance treatment (SMSMT) is introduced aimed at enhancing the treatment of childhood overweight. Methods: After a 12-week cognitive behavioral group treatment (CBGT), 40 children were assigned to the SMSMT for a period of 36 weeks. Children were asked to send weekly self-monitoring data on eating behavior, exercise behavior, and emotions and received tailored feedback. The adherence to SMSMT and changes in Body Mass Index Standard Deviation Scores (BMI-SDS) during the first and second treatment phase were analysed. Results: Children (mean age. =10.05, SD. =1.28) submitted 67% of the weekly SMS that they were expected to send in. During CBGT a significant reduction by 0.20 BMI-SDS was observed. The reduction by 0.07 BMI-SDS during the SMSMT did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: The results support the feasibility of SMSMT in the treatment of childhood overweight. The efficacy of the intervention needs to be demonstrated in an RCT. Practice implications: SMSMT is a promising intervention that may extend the reach of treatment centers for childhood overweight at reasonable cost and effort.

Childhood overweight, SMS, Symptom monitoring, Tailored feedback, Text messaging
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2010.03.014, hdl.handle.net/1765/28033
Patient Education and Counseling
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bauer, S, de Niet, J.E, Timman, R, & Kordy, H. (2010). Enhancement of care through self-monitoring and tailored feedback via text messaging and their use in the treatment of childhood overweight. Patient Education and Counseling, 79(3), 315–319. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2010.03.014