Use of Telehealth to Enhance Care in a Family-Centered Childhood Obesity Intervention

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2019 Jun;58(7):789-797. doi: 10.1177/0009922819837371. Epub 2019 Mar 20.


Family-centered childhood obesity interventions have been found to be effective. We describe the use of telehealth for tailored behavior change support in a family-centered randomized trial. Children of 2 to 12 years with body mass index ≥85th percentile were randomized to Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) or Enhanced Primary Care + Coaching (EPC + C). EPC + C received 6 health coach visits (in-person or by video or phone call) over 1 year. Telehealth modalities included interactive text messaging, video calls, and an online community resource map. There were 360 children randomized to the EPC + C arm; 87% of parents completed ≥1 health coaching contacts. Overall, 93% parents were sent text messages of which 99% responded at least once. About 72% parents were very satisfied with the message content and 97% were satisfied with information provided about community health resources. The high level of participant engagement and satisfaction suggests that telehealth is feasible and acceptable in family-centered childhood obesity programs.

Trial registration: NCT02124460.

Keywords: GIS; children; obesity; telehealth; text message; video call.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pediatric Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Telemedicine / methods*

Associated data