Recruiting low-income postpartum women into two weight loss interventions: in-person versus Facebook delivery

UMMS Affiliation

UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center; Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Maternal and Child Health | Preventive Medicine | Social Media | Translational Medical Research | Women's Health


Several studies, such as the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), have provided foundational evidence for the efficacy of lifestyle interventions on weight loss and cardiometabolic prevention. However, translating these interventions to real-world settings and engaging at-risk populations has proven difficult. Social media-delivered interventions have high potential for reaching high-risk populations, but there remains a need to understand the extent to which these groups are interested in social media as a delivery mode. One potential way to this is by examining recruitment rates as a proxy for interest in the intervention delivery format. The aim of this study was to describe the recruitment rates of overweight and obese low-income postpartum women into two asynchronous behavioral weight loss interventions: one delivered in-person and the other delivered via Facebook. Both interventions used the same recruitment methods: participants were overweight low-income postpartum women who were clients of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics in Worcester, MA, screened for the study by nutritionists during routine WIC visits. Similarly, eligibility criteria were the same for both interventions except for a requirement for the Facebook-delivered intervention to currently use Facebook at least once per week. Among women pre-eligible for the in-person intervention, 42.6% gave permission to be contacted to determine full eligibility and 24.1% of eligible women enrolled. Among women pre-eligible for the Facebook intervention, 31.8% gave permission to be contacted and 28.5% of eligible women enrolled. Recruitment rates for a Facebook-based weight loss intervention were similar to recruitment rates for an in-person intervention, suggesting similar interest in the two program delivery modes among low-income postpartum women.

DOI of Published Version



Transl Behav Med. 2018 Feb 21. pii: 4883470. doi: 10.1093/tbm/iby013. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Translational behavioral medicine

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID