Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evaluating Acceptability and the Influence of Telemedicine Dosage in Promoting Weight Loss and Future Usage in Older Adults with Obesity
by Dionicio, Patricia, M.P.H., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 77; 27834128
Abstract (Summary)

Obesity worsens mental and physical performance in older adults and has been found to be a negative influence on the aging process and associated chronic conditions. In order to address physical and economic challenges for older adults affected by obesity, unique approaches that promote weight loss and properly mitigate barriers to accessing health services are warranted. With rising rates of technology usage among the older adult population, the integration of telemedicine into programs targeting obesity holds potential to improve health outcomes. Telemedicine provides a potential avenue of access between physicians and this at-risk population. To date, few studies have incorporated telemedicine-based strategies into weight loss programs or examined the influence of age, telemedicine dosage, or comorbidities on associated weight loss outcomes. Additionally, no studies have assessed older adults’ acceptance of telemedicine in a weight-loss program with health coaching. Thus, assessing the influence of dosage in a telemedicine-based weight loss program with health coaching and the acceptability of this strategy in this population is warranted. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of the inHealth Medical Services, Inc. Medical Weight Loss (MWL) and Chronic Care Management (CCM) program dosage and age on weight loss. This study also assessed the influence of constructs from the TAM and TRA on telemedicine acceptance and future usage in adults with obesity. This study incorporated two components: Study 1 focused on the influence of dosage, while Study 2 focused on factors that influence dosage. Results indicated no significant relationship between telemedicine dosage and weight loss in Study 1. A marginal finding was identified for the relationship between CCM age and weight loss (p =.053). Findings in Study 2 indicated perceived usefulness was significantly associated with perceived ease of use (p <.001). Normative beliefs also had a significant association with perceived ease of use in participants (p <.001). Additional factors for telemedicine acceptability and usage were identified and included its potential to save time, ease and convenience while using, and its capability to assist with monitoring of health status through accountability provided from Health Coaches. Considering these findings, when integrating telemedicine into weight loss programs with health coaching, special consideration should be placed on age, establishing social support of telemedicine usage, and highlighting the usefulness of telemedicine in improving health outcomes. Qualitative findings suggest providing health coaching through telemedicine may potentially improve intrinsic motivation in patients affected by obesity. This study offers direction for future research to further comprehend the potential of telemedicine to be accepted into weight loss programs by older populations with obesity. Understanding factors influencing acceptability is crucial to the design of telemedicine applications in order to meet the health needs of those using it and is pertinent to developing innovative telemedicine-based strategies addressing current obesity trends.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ellis, Niloofar Bavarian
Commitee: Alencar, Michelle, Garcia, Melawhy
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Health Science
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Public health, Alternative Medicine, Information Technology
Keywords: Obesity, Older adults, Technology, Technology Acceptance Model, Telemedicine, Telemedicine acceptance
Publication Number: 27834128
ISBN: 9798664789591
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