The effectiveness of an online intervention in preventing excessive gestational weight gain: the e-moms roc randomized controlled trial

This article was published May 2018 in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth by Christine M. OlsonSusan W. GrothMeredith L. GrahamJennifer E. ReschkeMyla S. Strawderman, and Isabel Diana Fernandez. 

The full article is available here.

Here is the abstract for this article:


Excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) is common and contributes to the development of obesity in women and their offspring. Electronic or e-health interventions have the potential to reach large groups of women and prevent excessive GWG, but their effectiveness has not been demonstrated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate, in a real-world setting, the effectiveness of a self-directed, integrated online and mobile phone behavioral intervention in preventing excessive GWG.


This effectiveness trial was a double-blind, three-arm trial with a parallel group design. Two arms received the same e-health intervention during pregnancy with the third arm serving as the placebo control. The intervention was based on a previously efficacious non-digital intervention that was adapted to electronic format. It included three behavior change tools: a weight gain tracker, and separate diet and physical activity goal-setting and self-monitoring tools. Both treatment conditions received access to informational tools, event reminders, and a blogging feature. Healthy pregnant women age 18-35 years with body mass indexes (BMI) ≥18.5 and < 35, at ≤20 weeks gestation, and an e-mail address were eligible. The proportion of women with excessive total GWG, as defined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), was the primary outcome. 1689 randomized women were analyzed in the intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis. The study was designed to have 87% power to detect a 10 percentage point reduction from a control rate of 55% with a sample of 1641 (p = 0.0167, two-sided).


In the ITT sample, 48.1% (SD = 2.0%) gained excessively in the intervention group as did 46.2% (SD = 2.4%) in the placebo control group. These proportions were not significantly different (RR 1.09; 95% CI 0.98, 1.20, p = 0.12). The results were not altered in several sensitivity analyses.


The addition of three behavior change tools to an informational placebo control did not result in a difference in the proportion of women with excessive total GWG compared to the placebo control in this effectiveness trial of an online, self-directed intervention. The similarity of intervention and control treatments and low usage of the behavior change tools in the intervention group are possible explanations.

Does usage of an e-health intervention reduce the risk of excessive gestational weight gain? A secondary analysis from a randomized controlled trial

This article was published January 2017 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

This article was written by: Meredith L. Graham, Myla Strawderman, Margaret M. Demment, and Christine M. Olson.

Here is the abstract for this article:

Excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) contributes to the development of obesity in mother and child. Internet-based interventions have the potential for delivering innovative and interactive options for prevention of excessive GWG to large numbers of people.

The objective of this study was to create a novel measure of Internet-based intervention usage patterns and examine whether usage of an Internet-based intervention is associated with reduced risk of excessive GWG.

The website featured blogs, local resources, articles, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and events that were available to women in both the intervention and control arm. Weekly reminders to use the website and to highlight new content were emailed to participants in both arms. Only intervention arm participants had access to the weight gain tracker and diet and physical activity goal-setting tools. A total of 1335 (898 intervention and 437 control) relatively diverse and healthy pregnant women were randomly assigned to the intervention arm or control arm. Usage patterns were examined for both intervention and control arm participants using latent class analysis. Regression analyses were used to estimate the association between usage patterns and three GWG outcomes: excessive total GWG, excessive GWG rate, and GWG.

Five usage patterns best characterized the usage of the intervention by intervention arm participants. Three usage patterns best characterized control arm participants’ usage. Control arm usage patterns were not associated with excessive GWG, whereas intervention arm usage patterns were associated with excessive GWG.

The control and intervention arm usage pattern characterization is a unique methodological contribution to process evaluations for self-directed Internet-based interventions. In the intervention arm some usage patterns were associated with GWG outcomes.

eMoms: Electronically-mediated weight interventions for pregnant and postpartum women. Study design and baseline characteristics

This article was published July 2015 in Contemporary Clinical Trials.

This article was written by: Isabel Diana Fernandez, Susan W. Groth, Jennifer E. Reschke, Meredith L. Graham, Myla Strawderman, and Christine M. Olson.

Here is the abstract for this article:
The influence of childbearing in the development of obesity is situated within two different but related contexts: pregnancy-related weight gain and weight gain prevention and control in young adult women. Pregnancy related weight gain contributes to long-term weight retention in childbearing women.

To present the study design, data collection procedures, recruitment challenges, and the baseline characteristics for the eMoms of Rochester study, a randomized clinical trial testing the effect of electronically-mediated behavioral interventions to prevent excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) and postpartum weight retention among women aged 18–35 years of diverse income and racial/ethnic backgrounds in an urban setting.

Randomized double blind clinical trial. A total of 1722 women at or below 20 weeks of gestation were recruited primarily from obstetric practices and randomized to 3 treatment groups: control arm; intervention arm with access to intervention during pregnancy and control at postpartum (e-intervention 1); and intervention arm with access to intervention during pregnancy and postpartum (e-intervention 2). Enrollment and consent were completed via study staff or online. Data were collected via online surveys, medical charts, and measurement of postpartum weights. The primary endpoints are gaining more weight than recommended by the Institution of Medicine guidelines and weight retained at 12 months postpartum.

This study will provide evidence on the efficacy of behavioral interventions in the prevention of excessive GWG and postpartum weight retention with potential dissemination to obstetric practices and/or health insurances.