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SMART trial: A randomized clinical trial of self-monitoring in behavioral weight management-design and baseline findings.
Burke LE, Styn MA, Glanz K, Ewing LJ, Elci OU, Conroy MB, Sereika SM, Acharya SD, Music E, Keating AL, Sevick MA. SMART trial: A randomized clinical trial of self-monitoring in behavioral weight management-design and baseline findings. Contemporary clinical trials. 2009 Nov 1; 30(6):540-51.
BACKGROUND: The primary form of treatment for obesity today is behavioral therapy. Self-monitoring diet and physical activity plays an important role in interventions targeting behavior and weight change. The SMART weight loss trial examined the impact of replacing the standard paper record used for self-monitoring with a personal digital assistant (PDA). This paper describes the design, methods, intervention, and baseline sample characteristics of the SMART trial. METHODS: The SMART trial used a 3-group design to determine the effects of different modes of self-monitoring on short- and long-term weight loss and on adherence to self-monitoring in a 24-month intervention. Participants were randomized to one of three conditions (1) use of a standard paper record (PR); (2) use of a PDA with dietary and physical activity software (PDA); or (3), use of a PDA with the same software plus a customized feedback program (PDA + FB). RESULTS: We screened 704 individuals and randomized 210. There were statistically but not clinically significant differences among the three cohorts in age, education, HDL cholesterol, blood glucose and systolic blood pressure. At 24 months, retention rate for the first of three cohorts was 90%. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, the SMART trial is the first large study to compare different methods of self-monitoring in a behavioral weight loss intervention and to compare the use of PDAs to conventional paper records. This study has the potential to reveal significant details about self-monitoring patterns and whether technology can improve adherence to this vital intervention component.