Effect of the Intervention Based on New Communication Technologies and the Social-Cognitive Theory on the Weight Control of the Employees with Overweight and Obesity

Jalal Abdi, Hassan Eftekhar, Mahmood Mahmoodi, Davood Shojayzadeh, Roya Sadeghi, Maryam Saber


Background: Work settings provide a unique opportunity for health promotion interventions. Considering the issue of obesity in employees, this study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the intervention based on new communication technologies and the social cognitive theory on weight control in the governmental employees of Hamadan City, western Iran in 2014.

Methods: This randomized control trial study was conducted in “telephone- assisted intervention”, “web- assisted intervention”, and “control” groups comprising 435 employees of Hamadan City with overweight or obesity in 2014 (Ethics Committee Code: 93/D/130/1139). The educational intervention was performed for 6 months under the title of “lifestyle program”. Then, the participants were evaluated in terms of weight and changes in the constructs of the social-cognitive theory 6 and 9 months after the intervention. A researcher-made questionnaire based on the Dishman and Dewar questionnaires was used to evaluate the constructs of social-cognitive theory. The data were collected and analyzed using SPSS-20.

Results: The lifestyle intervention resulted in a weight loss of 1.92 and 1.08 kg in the telephone-assisted and web-assisted intervention groups, respectively. The intervention in the telephone-assisted group increased the mean scores of the constructs of self-efficacy (P=0.001), environment (P=0.001), outcome expectations (P=0.040), and outcome expectancies (P=0.001) among participants. In the web-assisted intervention group, the mean scores of the constructs of self-efficacy (P=0.001) and outcome expectancies (P=0.020) increased.

Conclusions: Our results showed the effectiveness of the intervention based on new communication technologies and the Social-Cognitive Theory. Future studies with more retention strategies regarding self-efficacy and environment constructs are needed to further explain the application of SCT and technology-based approaches to reduce obese and overweight.


Obesity; Overweight; Employees; Social-cognitive theory; Iran

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