Digital communication and virtual reality for extending the behavioural treatment of obesity – the patients’ perspective: results of an online survey in Germany

Claudia Luck-Sikorski, Regine Hochrein, Nina Döllinger, Carolin Wienrich, Kathrin Gemesi, Sophie Holzmann, Christina Holzapfel, Natascha Alexandra Weinberger

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung

1 Zitat (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: CBT has been found effective for the treatment of EDs and obesity. However not all patients achieve clinically significant weight loss and weight regain is common. In this context, technology-based interventions can be used to enhance traditional CBT but are not yet widespread. This survey therefore explores the status quo of pathways of communication between patients and therapists, the use of digital applications for therapy as well as attitudes towards VR from the perspective of patients with obesity in Germany. Methods: This cross-sectional online survey was conducted in October 2020. Participants were recruited digitally through social media, obesity associations and self-help groups. The standardized questionnaire included items concerning current treatment, paths of communication with their therapists, and attitudes toward VR. The descriptive analyses were performed with Stata. Results: The 152 participants were mostly female (90%), had a mean age of 46.5 years (SD = 9.2) and an average BMI of 43.0 kg/m² (SD = 8.4). Face-to-face communication with their therapist was considered of high importance in current treatment (M = 4.30; SD = 0.86) and messenger apps were the most frequently used digital application for communication. Participants were mostly neutral regarding the inclusion of VR methods in obesity treatment (M = 3.27; SD = 1.19). Only one participant had already used VR glasses as part of treatment. Participants considered VR suitable for exercises promoting body image change (M = 3.40; SD = 1.02). Discussion: Technological approaches in obesity therapy are not widespread. Face-to-face communication remains the most important setting for treatment. Participants had low familiarity with VR but a neutral to positive attitude toward the technology. Further studies are needed to provide a clearer picture of potential treatment barriers or educational needs and to facilitate the transfer of developed VR systems into clinical practice.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Aufsatznummer100
FachzeitschriftBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Jahrgang23
Ausgabenummer1
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2023
Extern publiziertJa

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