The project aims to develop an application (i.e. SIGMA: the Self-help, Integrated, and Gamified Mobile-phone Application) of e-CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) for mobile devices, focused on maladaptive behaviors (e.g. eating habits) and cognitive styles (e.g. stress management) that hinders weight management among young adults (18-40 years) at risk for obesity (23-30 kg / m2).
SIGMA prototype development is essential in the context of a population facing increasingly acute problems of overweight (23 / 25-30 kg / m²) and obesity (> 30 kg / m²), population doubled in the last 20 years and which, in Romania, is about 45% of the total.
In the context of the exponential increase in the use of portable devices, mobile interventions have emerged that facilitate access to interventions for weight management anytime, anywhere. Currently, the available applications on the market are not scientifically validated, they include a limited number of behavioral strategies, leading to an increased probability of recovery of lost weight in a year or two. Also, the cognitive techniques effective in maintaining weight loss, crisis interventions and relapse prevention are ignored. Moreover, they do not offer personalized feedback, although the technology would allow such a feedback, congruent with the specific vulnerabilities of each individual.
Aware of these limitations, we will form a multidisciplinary team to create, develop and deploy in a validated scientific manner the SIGMA application, the main objectives being the following:
1. Synthesizing the data related to the scientifically validated e-Health interventions (technologically mediated interventions) for weight management in overweight populations through a systematic review (review / meta-analysis);
2. Developing the gamified mobile application, for weight management, addressed to young adults;
3. Testing by beneficiaries – pilot testing and calibrating the mobile platform in terms of usability (ease of access to various types of information, ease of understanding), feasibility, acceptability, data storage, game interactivity and game immersion, response time and user satisfaction;
4. Testing efficiency – Final testing in terms of efficiency of the SIGMA application for weight management among young adults, in terms of primary outcomes (cognitive and behavioral maladaptive styles) and secondary outcomes (weight-related parameters and emotional states);
5. Disseminating the project’s goals and results to the scientific community, the professional community and the target population (e.g. psychologists, nutritionists).