Internet-based resources could assist nurses in the battle to help the public lose weight, according to research.
A team at the University of Southampton believes the Positive Online Weight Reduction (POWeR) could finally tip the scales back in people’s favour as they look to get fitter.
Despite there being plenty of schemes out there to combat rising obesity levels, there have been few studies into how the internet can help the battle.
Paul Little, Professor in Primary Care Research at the University who is leading the project, described how important it is for health professionals to control obesity.
He said: “The internet could potentially provide an ideal way to give patients interactive advice based on their personal situation and progress, with the support of a nurse to oversee, encourage and advise patients as necessary.
“At present nurses do not have the time to provide the intensive support needed to address the problem, and this could be a cost-effective way of filling this gap in provision.”
So far the project has been designed, developed and an obesity management website has been piloted to support nurses and patients for weight maintenance.
The site gives people the opportunity to get advice tailored to their own concerns.
The pilot study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit programme, proved successful in demonstrating the merits of online support for nurses and patients.