The Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of an eHealth Lifestyle Program in Women with Recent Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot Study


Self-administered eHealth interventions provide a potential low-cost solution for reducing diabetes risk. The aim of this pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) was to evaluate the feasibility, including recruitment, retention, preliminary efficacy (primary outcome) and acceptability (secondary outcome) of the "Body Balance Beyond" eHealth intervention in women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Women with overweight/obesity who had recent GDM (previous 24 months) were randomised into one of three groups: 1) high personalisation (access to "Body Balance Beyond" website, individual telehealth coaching via video call by a dietitian and exercise physiologist, and text message support); 2) low personalisation (website only); or 3) waitlist control. To evaluate preliminary efficacy, weight (kg), glycosylated hemoglobin, type A1C (HbA1c), cholesterol (total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)), diet quality and moderate-vigorous physical activity were analysed at baseline and at 3 and 6 months using generalised linear mixed models. To investigate acceptability, process evaluation was conducted at 3 and 6 months. Of the 327 potential participants screened, 42 women (mean age 33.5 +/- 4.0 years and BMI 32.4 +/- 4.3 kg/m(2)) were randomised, with 30 (71%) completing the study. Retention at 6 months was 80%, 54% and 79% for high personalisation, low personalisation and waitlist control, respectively (reasons: personal/work commitments, n = 4; started weight-loss diet, n = 1; pregnant, n = 1; resources not useful, n = 1; and not contactable, n = 5). No significant group-by-time interactions were observed for preliminary efficacy outcomes, with the exception of HDL cholesterol, where a difference favoured the low personalisation group relative to the control (p = 0.028). The majority (91%) of women accessed the website in the first 3 months and 57% from 4-6 months. The website provided useful information for 95% and 92% of women at 3 and 6 months, respectively, although only a third of women found it motivating (30% and 25% at 3 and 6 months, respectively). Most women agreed that the telehealth coaching increased their confidence for improving diet (85%) and physical activity (92%) behaviours, although fewer women regarded the text messages as positive (22% and 31% for improving diet and physical activity, respectively). The majority of women (82% at 3 months and 87% at 6 months) in the high personalisation group would recommend the program to other women with GDM. Recruiting and retaining women with a recent diagnosis of GDM is challenging. The "Body Balance Beyond" website combined with telehealth coaching via video call is largely acceptable and useful for women with recent GDM. Further analysis of the effect on diabetes risk reduction in a larger study is needed.

gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus, prevention, weight loss, diet, exercise, SELF-EFFICACY, WEIGHT-LOSS, VALIDITY, HISTORY, PREVALENCE, ADULTS, INDEX, CARE, Environmental Sciences, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Rollo, M. E., Baldwin, J. N., Hutchesson, M., Aguiar, E. J., Wynne, K., Young, A., Callister, R., Haslam, R., & Collins, C. E. (2020). The Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of an eHealth Lifestyle Program in Women with Recent Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Pilot Study. In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Vol. 17, Issue 19, p. 7115). MDPI AG.