Effectiveness of home-centered care through telemedicine applications for overweight and obese patients: A randomized controlled trial

D. G. Goulis, G. D. Giaglis, S. A. Boren, I. Lekka, E. Bontis, E. A. Balas, N. Maglaveras, A. Avramides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine if home-centered monitoring through telemedicine has an impact on clinical characteristics, metabolic profile and quality of life in overweight and obese patients. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial, 6-month duration. SETTING: Tertiary care academic hospital. SUBJECTS: A total of 122 patients were eligible to participate as they met the inclusion criteria of increased body mass index (BMI > 25kg/m2), age > 18 and < 70 y and ability to operate electronic microdevices. INTERVENTIONS: All patients in the control group (n = 77) received standard hospital care. Patients in the intervention group (n = 45), additionally, measured three times a week, for 6 months, their blood pressure and body weight and transmitted them to an automated call center. These values were not shared with the patients' physician or dietician. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Clinical (body weight, BMI, blood pressure), laboratory (fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol) and quality of life parameters (SF-36®, Visual Analog Scale of European Quality-5 Dimensions, Obesity Assessment Survey). Data were analyzed in an intention-to-treat-way (last observation carried forward). RESULTS: Drop-out rate was similar in the control and intervention groups: 12 vs 11 percent, respectively, P = NS. There were no significant differences at baseline between intervention and control groups in all main outcome parameters. There were significant decreases for patients in the intervention group in body weight (from 101.6 ± 22.4 to 89.2 ± 14.7 kg, P = 0.002, P = 0.05 vs controls at 6 months), total cholesterol (from 247.6 ± 42.0 to 220.7 ± 42.6 mg/dl, P = 0.002, P = 0.05 vs controls at6 months) and triglycerides (from 148.4 ± 35.0 to 122.3 ± 31.4 mg/dl, P = 0.001, P = 0.01 vs controls at 6 months). Intervention group patients made a total of 1997 phone contacts. The number of phone contacts was correlated positively with Social Functioning (SF), Vitality (VT) and Mental Health (MH) scores of SF-36® at baseline (r = 0.48, r = 0.41, r = 0.41, respectively, P = 0.05) but not with weight loss. CONCLUSIONS: Home-centered, intense treatment through the use of telemedicine can be effective in improving short-term obesity outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1391-1398
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Follow-up
  • Management
  • Quality of life
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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