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1998, PICS, Inc.

1. The initial DietMate validation study, funded with a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases NIDDK), was conducted using early computer prototypes of the DietMate program. Twenty-six subjects who were a mean of 21% over ideal body weight participated in the 12-week trial. Among 18 subjects who completed the study, the results showed statistically significant reductions in body weight, body mass index, percent body fat, diastolic blood pressure, and bicep circumference. The mean end of treatment body satisfaction score was 5.6 (SD = 1.4) on a seven-point scale. At treatment end, 70% of subjects rated themselves as being either "very satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" with the program, and 63% of subjects rated the program as being either "very easy" or "extremely easy" to use.
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2. The initial study using the commercial version of DietMate was undertaken with Phase I SBIR funding from NIDDK and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). A 12-week self-help trial was conducted with 28 subjects (19 women and 9 men) who were a mean of 26% over ideal body weight. Among 21 subjects who completed the trial, results showed statistically significant reductions in weight (M = 10 lbs., SD = 6.7), body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and resting pulse. Subjects also showed significant improvement in scores on a self-report body satisfaction scale. Subjects reported a high level of overall satisfaction with the program (M = 5.9, SD = 1.4 on a 1-7 scale) and rated the program as being very easy to use (M= 5.8, SD = 1.2 on a 1-7 scale). Results of this study were presented at the annual convention of the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, New York, NY, November, 1991.
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3. A third study, funded by a Phase I SBIR grant from the NHLBI, examined the effectiveness of DietMate for cholesterol reduction. At pretreatment, 34 subjects were a mean of 21% overweight and had mean total cholesterol level of 250 (SD = 28), low-density lipoprotein levels (LDL) of 170 (SD = 24), and high density lipoprotein (HDL) of 47 (SD = 10.5). At treatment end, results for 28 subjects who completed the study showed statistically significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL. Other statistically significant findings included redcution in body weight, body mass index, waist, bicep, and chest circumference, and resting pulse. Subjects also reported significant increases in ratings of overall body satisfaction and significant decreases in Beck Depression Inventory scores. Overall, subjects reported high levels of satisfaction with the program (M = 5.4, SD = 1.2 on a 1-7 scale) and rated it as being easy to use ( M = 5.6, SD = 1.1 on a 1-7 scale). Results of this study were presented at the annual convention of the Society of Behavioral medicine, New York, NY, March, 1992.
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4. A fourth DietMate study was a Phase II SBIR grant from the NHLBI. One hundred eight subjects (43 men and 65 women) with mean total cholesterol of 237, mean high density lipoprotein level (HDL) of 153, and mean low density lipoprotein (LDL) of 53 were randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions: 1) Standard Behavioral Self-Management (n = 53) or 2) Computerized DietMate Cholesterol Reduction Program (n = 55). Eighty-nine subjects (82%) completed follow-up evaluations at three months and six months (Standard Self-Management Group = 43/53; DietMate Group =44/55). The primary results of the study were that subjects in both treatment groups evidenced statistically significant reductions in total mean cholesterol, LDL, weight, body mass index, and mean body circumference measures at the biceps, waist and hips at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. Reductions in blood pressure were apparent at three months but not at six months. There were no statistically significant differences between groups on the magnitude of change on any of these variables. However, when subjects who were minimally compliant with their treatment were removed from the analyses, subjects in the DietMate condition had significantly greater decreases in LDL than subjects in the Self-Management condition at three mon ths follow-up visit. Overall, the results of these findings support the effectiveness of computerized cholesterol reduction.
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5. A fifth study, funded by a Phase I SBIR grant from NHLBI, examined the feasibility of using the DietMate program to reduce high blood pressure. Twenty-one moderately overweight men (n = 12) and women (n = 9) with mild to moderately elevated blood pressure used the program for 8 weeks. Sixteen subjects completed the study. At the end of treatment, statistically significant reductions in mean systolic and diastolic blood presssure were observed. More specifically, 75% of the subjects had reduced their systolic blood press (SBP) by at least 3 mmHG, 44% had reduced SBP by over 7 mmHG, and 19% had reduced SBP more than 11 mmHG. Sixty-two percent of subjects reduced diastolic blood pressure (DBP) by at least 3 mmHG, 31% reduced DBP more than 7 mmHG, and 6% reduced DBP more than 11 mmHG. Subjects also experienced significant weight loss (M = 8.5 pounds, SD = 5.8) and reduced their resting heart rate by more than 6 beats per minute from 75.9 to 69.8; SD = 7.4. Exercise habits were also positively impacted by the program: the average number of sessions of exercise per week more than doubled (from 1.6 to 3.8), minutes per week spent exercising tripled (from 42.5 to 143.0), and minutes per session increased more than 50% (from 21.7 to 34.3).
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