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Vol. 10 No. 4, February 13, 2013

Fact and Stats

Health IT tools have helped improve access to obesity screenings and treatment for children, but the technology's effect on weight loss and other health outcomes is unclear because the topic is understudied, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
The researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Harvard Medical School examined 13 clinical trials that used health IT tools to deliver obesity screenings and treatment to children (age 2-18). The trials – which were published between January 2006 and April 2012 – were found through various databases, including: Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Registry of Controlled Trials.
The researchers found that:
  • The use of EHR was associated with increased rates of BMI screenings in five of eight studies, 
  • Text messages or telephone support was linked with weight loss maintenance in one of three studies; and
  • Telehealth counseling was associated with changes in BMI percentile and with improved treatment access in the remaining two studies.
The researchers determined that health IT interventions have improved access to obesity treatment and rates of screening. However, the impact on weight loss and other health outcomes remains understudied and inconsistent and that the topic requires more research.

Read more

Source: Health Information Technology in Screening and Treatment of Child Obesity: A Systematic Review

Date: February 4, 2013

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