Background: High gestational weight gain is a major public health concern as it independently predicts adverse maternal and infant outcomes. Past interventions have had only limited success in effectively managing pregnancy weight gain, especially among women with overweight and obesity. Well-designed interventions are needed that take an individualized approach and target unique barriers to promote healthy weight gain. Objective: The primary aim of the study is to describe the study protocol for Healthy Mom Zone, an individually tailored, adaptive intervention for managing weight in pregnant women with overweight and obesity. Methods: The Healthy Mom Zone Intervention, based on theories of planned behavior and self-regulation and a model of energy balance, includes components (eg, education, self-monitoring, physical activity/healthy eating behaviors) that are adapted over the intervention (ie, increase in intensity) to better regulate weight gain. Decision rules inform when to adapt the intervention. In this randomized controlled trial, women are randomized to the intervention or standard care control group. The intervention is delivered from approximately 8-36 weeks gestation and includes step-ups in dosages (ie, Step-up 1 = education + physical activity + healthy eating active learning [cooking/recipes]; Step-up 2 = Step-up 1 + portion size, physical activity; Step-up 3 = Step-up 1 + 2 + grocery store feedback, physical activity); 5 maximum adaptations. Study measures are obtained at pre- and postintervention as well as daily (eg, weight), weekly (eg, energy intake/expenditure), and monthly (eg, psychological) over the study period. Analyses will include linear mixed-effects models, generalized estimating equations, and dynamical modeling to understand between-group and within-individual effects of the intervention on weight gain. Results: Recruitment of 31 pregnant women with overweight and obesity has occurred from January 2016 through July 2017. Baseline data have been collected for all participants. To date, 24 participants have completed the intervention and postintervention follow-up assessments, 3 are currently in progress, 1 dropped out, and 3 women had early miscarriages and are no longer active in the study. Of the 24 participants, 13 women have completed the intervention to date, of which 1 (8%, 1/13) received only the baseline intervention, 3 (23%, 3/13) received baseline + step-up 1, 6 (46%, 6/13) received baseline + step-up 1 + step-up 2, and 3 (23%, 3/13) received baseline + step-up 1 + step-up 2 +step-up 3. Data analysis is still ongoing through spring 2018. Conclusions: This is one of the first intervention studies to use an individually tailored, adaptive design to manage weight gain in pregnancy. Results from this study will be useful in designing a larger randomized trial to examine efficacy of this intervention and developing strategies for clinical application.
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