Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health




ISSN: 1745-0179 ― Volume 15, 2019

Ebesity – E-Health for Obesity – New Technologies for the Treatment of Obesity In Clinical Psychology and Medicine



Gianluca Castelnuovo, Ph.D., Psy.D1, 2Address: Psychology Research Laboratory San Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano Via Cadorna, 90 28824 Piancavallo (VB), Italy 0039 323 514338 0039 323 514338 gianluca.castelnuovo@auxologico.it
, Susan Simpson3
1 Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Psychology Research Laboratory, Ospedale San Giuseppe, Verbania, Italy
2 Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, Italy
3 Department of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia, Magill Campus, Adelaide, 5001, Australia and Eating Disorder Service, Fulton Clinic, Royal Cornhill Hospital, UK


Article Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2011
Volume: 7
First Page: 5
Last Page: 8
Publisher Id: CPEMH-7-5
DOI: 10.2174/1745017901107010005

Article History:

Electronic publication date: 4/3/2011
Collection year: 2011

Article Metrics:

CrossRef Citations:
0

Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 706
Abstract HTML Views: 1006
PDF Downloads: 207
Total Views/Downloads: 1919

Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 488
Abstract HTML Views: 568
PDF Downloads: 149
Total Views/Downloads: 1205
Geographical View

© Gianluca Castelnuovo; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.







The spread of obesity (globesity) has been declared a worldwide epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 1 billion adults are overweight and at least 315 million are clinically obese. This epidemic has generated an unlimited array of weight-loss strategies. Obesity is now one of the most important public and clinical problems: “it increases the risk of many health complications such as hypertension, coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes, needs long-lasting treatment for effective results and involves high public and private costs” (p. 204, (Castelnuovo et al., 2010)).

In the past few years, internet, mobile phone or computer based clinical protocols have shown promising long-term effects in the improvement of healthy lifestyle interventions for the treatment of obesity with or without complications (type 2 diabetes, eating disorders, etc.). These technologies (cd-rom software, internet websites, e-mail contacts, sms or mms based systems, telemedicine platforms etc.) have opened potential applications to revolutionize health care in different inpatient and outpatient settings.

There is a significant interest in the employment of new technologies and devices in order to obtain better results in weight-reduction programs: this literature has grown strongly over recent years (Riva et al., 2001, Riva et al., 2002, Simpson et al., 2002, Jeffery et al., 2003, Riva et al., 2003, Simpson et al., 2003, Castelnuovo et al., 2004, Goulis et al., 2004, Sherwood et al., 2006, Haugen et al., 2007, Joo and Kim, 2007, Wister et al., 2007, Kim and Kim, 2008, Krukowski et al., 2008, Morak et al., 2008, Schiel et al., 2008, Shaikh et al., 2008, McTigue et al., 2009, Park et al., 2009, Castelnuovo, 2010, Castelnuovo et al., 2010).

One of the main aims of the E-BESITY CPEMH special issue is to present new results concerning the use of advanced telehealth approaches. These innovations are designed to bring healthcare to where it is really needed, providing continuity between clinic settings and patients’ daily lives. Technology cannot replace medicine but it can improve the efficacy of traditional clinical and healthy lifestyle protocols.

According to Scott and Wonderlich (2010), new technologies are continuously changing and providing new opportunities: “One final thought focuses on the ever-changing nature of technology – and therefore technology based interventions. Technology is always in flux; most cutting-edge technologies of today are typically nothing more than tomorrow’s outdated and obsolete methods (keep in mind that the sun dial, abacus, and eight-track cassette players were all “cutting edge” at one time). We have seen many of these changes in our work: for example, modems that we once used with PDAs have become obsolete due to the cellular phones and digital phone lines, the Internet has dramatically changed the way telehealth treatments are being delivered, and some of our older PDAs are not compatible with newer computer operating systems. Technologies will inevitably continue to change, and with these changes will come additional opportunities for new applications to…. treatment….” (p. 507, (Scott and Wonderlich, 2010)).

Whereas some of these technologies have been the subject of extensive research to date, others are in their early stages of development and evaluation. This special issue presents a range of research studies, covering both ends of the spectrum. The STRATOB study by Castelnuovo and colleagues is a two-arm randomized controlled clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of BST (Brief Strategic Therapy) with the gold standard CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) in an inpatient and telephone based outpatient program for a sample of obese people with Binge Eating Disorder seeking treatment for weight reduction. This group also report on their progress to date with a separate RCT which is examining the efficacy of the TECNOB program whereby participants were instructed to use a weight-loss web-site, a web-based videoconference tool, dietary software installed into their cellular phones and an electronic armband measuring daily steps and energy expenditure to maintain weight-loss, following inpatient hospital treatment. A range of technologies are integrated into the program, showing the potential for multi-modal treatment delivery options.

A range of exploratory projects and smaller pilot studies are also presented in this special edition, which are vital at this early stage of trialing new technologies in the treatment of obesity. These include the introduction of a new technological paradigm ‘Interreality’ by Riva and colleagues, that integrates assessment and treatment within a hybrid experiential environment, including both virtual and real worlds and provides targeted support and suggestions through the use of bio and activity sensors and smartphones.

Several excellent recent studies have capitalized on the ubiquity of the internet and utilized this as a mode of treatment delivery for those with obesity and/or eating disorders. Funk and colleagues describe the development of a tailored self-assessment tool in an internet-based weight loss maintenance program, demonstrating the potential for technology in both replicating personal counseling and tailoring treatment strategies based on client feedback. Carrard et al. evaluated a self-help internet-based treatment program composed of eleven CBT based modules in a population of adult obese patients with Binge Eating Disorder, with encouraging results, both in terms of outcome and overall acceptability of the program. Lindenberg et al. describe an internet-based program, ‘Appetite for Life’, which was specifically designed to provide individualized support to students at-risk of developing an eating disorder. This stepped-care approach encourages users to make choices and seek support according to their personal preferences, thus utilising the technology to meet the needs of individuals and to enhance self-efficacy. The treatment and prevention of childhood obesity has also been targeted through the development of the ‘ETIOBE’ e-therapy platform. This system aims to improve long-term weight loss maintenance by specifically addressing treatment adherence and self-control in the context of teaching and reinforcing healthy lifestyle habits (Banos et al.).

Videoconferencing has played an important role in the assessment and treatment of obesity and eating disorders; a critical development both for obesity sufferers located in remote and rural areas, and for those who are unable to travel to appointments due to disability or ill-health. Morrow and colleagues demonstrate the potential of videoconferencing as a means of providing multidisciplinary post surgical review of bariatric surgery patients and Simpson and Slowey examine the use of videoconferencing in a case study, exploring the provision of psychological treatment for co-morbid obesity and eating disorder. These preliminary studies are ideal for the examination of process issues, thus facilitating the exploration of interactions between technology and psychological treatment models.

The studies described in this special edition on e-besity have gathered important data on the effectiveness, acceptability and feasibility of a range of technologies in treatment and weight-loss maintenance and will inform the development of large scale efficacy studies in the future. As Manzoni observes in his systematic review of internet-based treatment programs, there is a great need for improvement and standardization of the design of future studies in this area which will allow for the identification of factors which are critical to the success of weight loss and maintenance.

COMPETING INTEREST

No Competing interests are declared.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The EBESITY – E-HEALTH FOR OBESITY – CPEMH special issue is supported by the “Compagnia di San Paolo” Italian private foundation as part of the TECNOB project.

REFERENCES

[1] Castelnuovo G. No medicine without psychology: the key role of psychological contribution in clinical settings Front Psychol Clin Settings 2010; 1
[2] Castelnuovo G, Buselli C, De Ferrari R, et al. New tools in cybertherapy: the VEPSY web site Stud Health Technol Inform 2004; 99: 15-35.
[3] Castelnuovo G, Manzoni GM, Cuzziol P, et al. TECNOB: study design of a randomized controlled trial of a multidisciplinary telecare intervention for obese patients with type-2 diabetes BMC Public Health 2010; 10: 204.
[4] Goulis DG, Giaglis GD, Boren SA, et al. Effectiveness of home-centered care through telemedicine applications for overweight and obese patients: a randomized controlled trial Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2004; 28: 1391-8.
[5] Haugen HA, Tran ZV, Wyatt HR, Barry MJ, Hill JO. Using telehealth to increase participation in weight maintenance programs Obesity Silver Spring 2007; 15: 3067-77.
[6] Jeffery RW, Sherwood NE, Brelje K, et al. Mail and phone interventions for weight loss in a managed-care setting: Weigh-To-Be one-year outcomes Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2003; 27: 584-92.
[7] Joo NS, Kim BT. Mobile phone short message service messaging for behaviour modification in a community-based weight control programme in Korea J Telemed Telecare 2007; 13: 416-20.
[8] Kim SI, Kim HS. Effectiveness of mobile and internet intervention in patients with obese type 2 diabetes Int J Med Inform 2008; 77: 399-404.
[9] Krukowski RA, Harvey-Berino J, Ashikaga T, Thomas CS, Micco N. Internet-based weight control: the relationship between web features and weight loss Telemed J E Health 2008; 14: 775-82.
[10] McTigue KM, Conroy MB, Hess R, et al. Using the internet to translate an evidence-based lifestyle intervention into practice Telemed J E Health 2009; 15: 851-.
[11] Morak J, Schindler K, Goerzer E, et al. A pilot study of mobile phone-based therapy for obese patients J Telemed Telecare 2008; 14: 147-9.
[12] Park MJ, Kim HS, Kim KS. Cellular phone and Internet-based individual intervention on blood pressure and obesity in obese patients with hypertension Int J Med Inform 2009; 78: 704-10.
[13] Riva G, Alcaniz M, Anolli L, et al. The VEPSY UPDATED project: technical and clinical rationale Stud Health Technol Inform 2002; 85: 395-401.
[14] Riva G, Alcaniz M, Anolli L, et al. The VEPSY updated project: virtual reality in clinical psychology Cyberpsychol Behav 2001; 4: 449-55.
[15] Riva G, Alcaniz M, Anolli L, et al. The VEPSY UPDATED Project: clinical rationale and technical approach Cyberpsychol Behav 2003; 6: 433-9.
[16] Schiel R, Beltschikow W, Radon S, et al. Long-term treatment of obese children and adolescents using a telemedicine support programme J Telemed Telecare 2008; 14: 13-6.
[17] Scott GE, Wonderlich SA. New technologies in treatments for eating disorders In: Grilo C M, Mitchell J E, Eds. The Treatment of Eating Disorders: A Clinical Handbook. New York: The Guilford Press 2010; pp. 500-9.
[18] Shaikh U, Cole SL, Marcin JP, Nesbitt TS. Clinical management and patient outcomes among children and adolescents receiving telemedicine consultations for obesity Telemed J E Health 2008; 14: 434-0.
[19] Sherwood NE, Jeffery RW, Pronk NP, et al. Mail and phone interventions for weight loss in a managed-care setting: weigh-to-be 2-year outcomes Int J Obes 2006; 30: 1565-73.
[20] Simpson S, Knox J, Mitchell D, Ferguson J, Brebner J, Brebner E. A multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of eating disorders via videoconferencing in north-east Scotland J Telemed Telecare 2003; 9(Suppl 1): S37-38.
[21] Simpson S, Morrow E, Jones M, Ferguson J, Brebner E. Video-hypnosis--the provision of specialized therapy via videoconferencing J Telemed Telecare 2002; 8(Suppl 2): 78-9.
[22] Wister A, Loewen N, Kennedy-Symonds H, McGowan B, McCoy B, Singer J. One-year follow-up of a therapeutic lifestyle intervention targeting cardiovascular disease risk CMAJ 2007; 177: 859-65.

Endorsements



"Open access will revolutionize 21st century knowledge work and accelerate the diffusion of ideas and evidence that support just in time learning and the evolution of thinking in a number of disciplines."


Daniel Pesut
(Indiana University School of Nursing, USA)

"It is important that students and researchers from all over the world can have easy access to relevant, high-standard and timely scientific information. This is exactly what Open Access Journals provide and this is the reason why I support this endeavor."


Jacques Descotes
(Centre Antipoison-Centre de Pharmacovigilance, France)

"Publishing research articles is the key for future scientific progress. Open Access publishing is therefore of utmost importance for wider dissemination of information, and will help serving the best interest of the scientific community."


Patrice Talaga
(UCB S.A., Belgium)

"Open access journals are a novel concept in the medical literature. They offer accessible information to a wide variety of individuals, including physicians, medical students, clinical investigators, and the general public. They are an outstanding source of medical and scientific information."


Jeffrey M. Weinberg
(St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, USA)

"Open access journals are extremely useful for graduate students, investigators and all other interested persons to read important scientific articles and subscribe scientific journals. Indeed, the research articles span a wide range of area and of high quality. This is specially a must for researchers belonging to institutions with limited library facility and funding to subscribe scientific journals."


Debomoy K. Lahiri
(Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

"Open access journals represent a major break-through in publishing. They provide easy access to the latest research on a wide variety of issues. Relevant and timely articles are made available in a fraction of the time taken by more conventional publishers. Articles are of uniformly high quality and written by the world's leading authorities."


Robert Looney
(Naval Postgraduate School, USA)

"Open access journals have transformed the way scientific data is published and disseminated: particularly, whilst ensuring a high quality standard and transparency in the editorial process, they have increased the access to the scientific literature by those researchers that have limited library support or that are working on small budgets."


Richard Reithinger
(Westat, USA)

"Not only do open access journals greatly improve the access to high quality information for scientists in the developing world, it also provides extra exposure for our papers."


J. Ferwerda
(University of Oxford, UK)

"Open Access 'Chemistry' Journals allow the dissemination of knowledge at your finger tips without paying for the scientific content."


Sean L. Kitson
(Almac Sciences, Northern Ireland)

"In principle, all scientific journals should have open access, as should be science itself. Open access journals are very helpful for students, researchers and the general public including people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals. The articles are high standard and cover a wide area."


Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."


Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."


Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."


Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."


M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."


Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."


Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."


Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."


Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."


Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."


Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)


Browse Contents



Webmaster Contact: info@benthamopen.net
Copyright © 2019 Bentham Open