2022: Two-year Impact Factor: 4.4
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CiteScore (2022): 5.3
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Open Access

Health Promot Perspect. 2024;14(1): 44-52.
doi: 10.34172/hpp.42528
PMID: 38623343
PMCID: PMC11016147
  Abstract View: 363
  PDF Download: 353

Original Article

The impact of self-monitoring physical and mental health via an mHealth application on postpartum weight retention: Data from the INTER-ACT RCT

Femke Geusens 1,2 ORCID logo, Hanne Van Uytsel 2 ORCID logo, Lieveke Ameye 2 ORCID logo, Roland Devlieger 2,3 ORCID logo, Yves Jacquemyn 4,5,6 ORCID logo, Caroline Van Holsbeke 7 ORCID logo, Annick Bogaerts 2,8* ORCID logo

1 Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
2 REALIFE Research Group, Research Unit Woman and Child, Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Antwerp University Hospital UZA, Edegem, Belgium
5 Antwerp Surgical Training, Anatomy and Research Centre (ASTARC), Antwerp University, Antwerp, Belgium
6 Global Health Institute, Antwerp University, Antwerp, Belgium
7 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg ZOL, Genk, Belgium
8 Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth, Devon, UK
*Corresponding Author: Annick Bogaerts, Email: annick.bogaerts@kuleuven.be


Background: Postpartum weight retention (PPWR) has many health risks. Digital self-monitoring of weight can potentially make postpartum weight management easier. We aim to test to what extent the self-monitoring of weight, steps and mental health through an mHealth application increases postpartum weight loss and reduces the odds of substantial PPWR (≥5 kg).

Methods: Participants were mothers in the intervention arm of the INTER-ACT multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT), an inter-pregnancy lifestyle intervention among mothers with excessive gestational weight gain. Participants (n=288) had access to an mHealth application to log their weight, steps and mental health between 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum. A linear multiple regression model and a logistic regression model were run to test to what extent self-monitoring via the app increases postpartum weight loss and reduces the risk of substantial PPWR.

Results: Women who logged their weight more often lost more weight (B=0.03, β=0.26, CIB =[0.01,0 .05], P<0.01), and had reduced odds of substantive PPWR (OR=0.99, CIOR =[0.98, 0.999], P<.05). Mental health logging reduced the odds of substantive PPWR (OR=0.98, CIOR =[0.97, 1.00], P<0.05), but was unrelated to the amount of weight loss. Steps logging was unrelated to either weight loss or substantive PPWR.

Conclusion: Mothers with excessive gestational weight gain can benefit from app-based lifestyle interventions to reduce PPWR by self-monitoring their weight. More attention to mental health in PPWR interventions is needed.

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Submitted: 14 Sep 2023
Accepted: 18 Nov 2023
ePublished: 14 Mar 2024
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