Nancy Sherwood, PhD is a Senior Investigator and Director of Scientific Development at the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University in Minnesota. Dr. Sherwood received her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Kent State University and her research focuses in the development and evaluation of behavioral interventions to prevent and treat obesity in children and adults. In particular, Dr. Sherwood’s work focuses on the integration of obesity interventions in health care systems.
Questions and Answers
The key components of the Keep It Off intervention include the treatment manual content, the promotion of self-monitoring, and the ongoing relationship with the Keep It Off phone coach who provides support and accountability for participants. The treatment modality could potentially be changed without losing intervention effectiveness. The treatment could be conducted in person or through Skype; conducting the treatment in a group format could also be useful, but some ongoing individual contact with a Keep It Off coach would be recommended. The treatment content could also be adapted for specific audiences that could vary with respect to age, gender, and/or race/ethnicity.
Facilitators to implementation include staff who have expertise in behavior change and who will receive ongoing training and supervision. Time for active outreach to participants will also be important as people who start to regain weight may be hesitant to keep participating.
Objective measurement of body weight over time is the “gold standard” for evaluating the program. Obtaining intermittent measures of satisfaction with the program may also be useful for adaptation of the program.
One of my recently funded studies is focused on finding the right weight loss treatment for the right person at the right time. We are using a new methodology, the Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) to evaluate different treatment options for people who are not responding to state of the art behavioral weight loss treatment.