Skip to main content

Table 5 Recommendations for future development and refinement of internet-based weight loss interventions

From: Informing the development of online weight management interventions: a qualitative investigation of primary care patient perceptions

1. Future internet-based interventions that are designed to facilitate weight loss consultations given in primary care settings should be personally tailored where possible, to allow for choice of style (e.g. technical, health-focused) and delivery formats (e.g. internet, smartphone), and ideally allowing users to adjust the number of reminders to prevent users from feeling harassed.
2. To maintain interest, content and features need to be novel (e.g., temptation resistance strategies) and updated, yet require very little effort from the user to find and use (i.e. good organisation of detailed information allowing users to find what they want easily).
3. Tracking features should be appealing and require less effort from the user than current methods (e.g., use of smartphone barcode scanners, auto-tracking of activity using devices, tracking weight or success with planned changes, rather than total calories consumed).
4. Lifestyle changes should be presented in a manner that reduces the perceived effort and time to implement such changes (i.e., reduce portion size vs weighing and logging every ingredient).
5. The intervention may need to address issues of motivation and prioritisation to support more resource-intensive changes.
6. Particular care is needed to ensure that social support elements of interventions provide a safe environment in which to disclose sensitive information.
7. The use of face-to-face support alongside web-based support may be advantageous when implementing internet-based interventions in primary care settings.