Informatics Research Seminar: A Mobile Health Intervention to Sustain Recent Weight Loss

 January 16 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: Ryan Jeffrey Shaw, PhD, RN
Presented from Duke University

Broadcast Link: Seminar



Obesity is the number one health risk facing Americans. Structured weight-loss programs have been successful in initiating behavior change and weight loss; however, weight is almost always regained over time. The rate of weight gain is highest immediately after cessation of a structured weight-loss program. Thus, effective interventions are needed that can successfully be used following a structured weight-loss program to sustain weight loss and prevent relapse. Due to low cost, ubiquity, and ease of use, healthcare communicated through mobile technology, or “mHealth”, may be able to serve as an effective medium to reach a large number of people to facilitate weight loss behaviors. Short message service (SMS) is easy to use, ubiquitous, affordable, and can target people directly where they are regardless of geographic location, socioeconomic status, or demographic factors.

Using the Behavior Change Process and regulatory focus theory, a recently completed mobile health (mHealth) intervention based upon evidence-based content and theoretical constructs leveraged SMS to automatically deliver messages to people who recently lost weight in attempt to help them sustain weight loss and prevent relapse. Participants will understand how informatics tools such as the mHealth intervention are constructed and guided by evidence-based content and how theoretical constructs can be used to help people sustain healthy behaviors that can lead to improved health outcomes.


Dr. Ryan Jeffrey Shaw is a health informaticist with a clinical background in nursing. He is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center Department of Medicine. His research focuses on the use of novel technologies to help people adhere to medical treatment regimens, self-manage chronic illness, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Shaw received his PhD from Duke University in 2012 in nursing science and health informatics. He holds a masters in informatics from NYU and a BS in nursing from the University of Miami. His long-term goals are to play a key leadership role in improving the health of people through a maturing program of research centered on the use of informatics tools to promote maintenance of healthy behaviors; and to translate findings into medical, nursing, and public health practice and education.