Research

Current projects use mobile technology, context sensing, social media, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Check them out!

mHealth

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Get Social: Randomized Trial of a Social Network Delivered Lifestyle Intervention
Principal Investigator: Pagoto
Study Description: The present study will conduct a randomized controlled trial to compare the efficacy of an online social network delivered intervention to a traditional in-person group-based lifestyle intervention. We hypothesize that an online social network intervention will not be inferior to the traditional delivery approach.
Dates of study: 12/1/14 - 11/30/17
Funding source: NIH 1R01DK103944-01A11

smartcoach Feasibility Trial of a Problem Solving Weight Loss Mobile Application
Principal Investigator: Pagoto
Study Description: We propose to develop and test the feasibility of Smart Coach, a weight loss mobile application that includes common features such as self-monitoring, goal setting, and a social network, but even more importantly an avatar-facilitated, idiographic problem solving feature that processes information intelligently to help patients identify solutions to their weight loss problems.
Dates of study: 12/1/14 - 11/30/17
Funding source: NIDDK - 1R21DK098556-01

relax RELAX: A mobile application suite targeting obesity and stress
Principal Investigator: Pagoto
Study Description: The purpose of this proposal is to develop and test the feasibility and proof-of-concept of RELAX Application Suite (AS), a mobile-, cloud- and web-based companion to a brief visit lifestyle intervention for obese individuals. RELAX-AS will be designed to reduce clinical visit time and cost by identifying and displaying behavior patterns that account for the greatest deviations in energy balance.
Dates of study: 12/1/14 - 11/30/17
Funding source: NIH - 1R01HL122302-01A1

overeating Predicting Overeating Through Behavioral Sensing and Mobile Technology
Principal Investigator: Pagoto
Study Description: The purpose of this study is to test whether we can predict episodes of overeating via physiological and environmental sensors and mobile technology. Using sensors, we will collect both physiological and environmental data that will then be used to predict overeating episodes. Participants will track their intake using their mobile device so that we can get as accurate as possible estimation of their intake. The present study will test the proof-of-concept regarding whether overeating can be predicted via sensor data. Ultimately, we would like to use this tool to develop intervention strategies to reduce overeating.
Dates of study: 6/1/12 – 5/31/15
Funding source: UMass President and Science Technology Fund

blogger Self-care Management: Patient-Centered Diabetic Wound Care Using Smart Phones
Principal Investigators: Lalikos, Strong
Study Description: The project addresses specific health challenges of patients with diabetic foot ulcers and focuses on two key challenges: automatically analyzing wound healing progress of patients with diabetic foot ulcers, and using technology to motivate these patients to better care for their wounds and their diabetes.
Dates of study: 09/01/11 - 08/31/15
Funding source: National Science Foundation - 1065298

peru Development of Healthy Pregnancy mHealth Interventions in the Peruvian Andes
Principal Investigators: Pagoto, Brunette
Study Description: This pilot study will explore the psychosocial and cultural factors impeding maternal care during pregnancy to inform a text-based intervention to improve pregnancy outcomes.
Dates of study: 2014 - 2015
Funding source: UMass Office of Global Health

mobile health UMass/Worcester Polytech Institute mHealth Hackathon
Principal Investigators:
Boudreax, Pagoto

Study Description:This project brought together experts from multiple disciplines, including behavioral science, medicine, computer science, health informatics, mathematics, and advertising, to brainstorm and design the next generation of mHealth applications targeting tobacco and weight loss. It spanned 3 days, separated by 2 week action periods.
Dates of study: 02/01/14-01/31/15
Funding source UMass Conference Grant

peru The Sentinel Events Model: A Dynamic Model of Substance Use Cessation
Principal Investigator:
Boudreax

Study Description:This project develops and validates the Sentinel Events Model, a new dynamic model which is predicated on the observation that an attempt to quit using an addictive substance is often preceded by the experience of a negative consequence of use, such as a health problem. We seek to better delineate the cognitive and affective mechanisms of action that mediate between a sentinel health event and behavior change milestones. Smokers experiencing medical symptoms prompting a cardiac evaluation will be enrolled and followed for six months. For the first three months, subjects will complete cellular telephone-based ecological momentary assessments (EMA) to provide detailed data about antecedents to lapse and relapse.
Dates of study: 4/10/2008-1/31/2014
Funding source NIDA R01 DA023170

smoking Developing a Smartphone App with Mindfulness Training for Teen Smoking Cessation
Principal Investigators:
Pbert, Brewer

Study Description: This project proposes to adapt and refine our Craving to Quit (C2Q) app that integrates mindefulness training for smoking cessation for use by adolescent smokers, and to conduct a feasibility and pilot test of the app. Six public high schools will be randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: 1) C2Q-Teen app (smoking cessation app with mindfulness training); 2) NCI's QuitSTART app designed for teen smokers (smoking cessation app without mindfulness training); and 3) written smoking cessation materials. Outcomes are intervention feasibility and acceptability and 7-day point prevalence abstinence at 3 and 6 month follow-up.
Dates of study: 07/15/14 - 06/30/16
Funding source NIDA R34 DA037886

 

Social Media

blogger Likes Pins and Views: Engaging Moms on Teen Indoor Tanning Thru Social Media
Co-Principal Investigators: Buller, Pagoto
Study Description: This study proposes to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a social media indoor tanning campaign to decrease mothers’ permissiveness for, and prevalence of, indoor tanning by daughters and increase mothers’ support for policy restrictions on indoor tanning by minors to improve the effectiveness of indoor tanning regulations.
Dates of study: 5/1/15 - 4/30/20
Funding source: NIH -1R01CA192652-01

blogger Examining Characteristics, Motivators, and Activities in Weight Loss Bloggers and Readers
Principal Investigator: Evans
Study Description: Individuals are using blogs to write about their experiences in weight loss. However there has been little research that investigates the use of blogging for weight loss. The purpose of this study is to learn more about the characteristics of people who blog and the benefits they experience from writing a weight loss blog or reading someone else’s weight loss blog. We know very little about the type of people who blog and the potential benefits (and challenges) they experience, or the benefits had by reading weight loss blogs. This study attempts to be the first to explore this phenomenon. Our findings will advance our understanding about the potential applications of using blogs as a form of e-intervention.

twitter Feasibility of a Social Network Supported Weight Loss Intervention
Principal Investigator: Pagoto
Study Description: This project involves a series of pre-pilot studies designed to test the feasibility of different approaches to using a social network in a weight loss intervention. Approaches evaluated include 1) applying a Twitter social network to a group-based intervention in people with no previous experience with online social networking, 2) applying a Twitter social network to a group-based intervention in people with previous experience with online social networking, 3) applying a Twitter social network to a weight loss mobile app-delivered weight loss intervention, 4) delivering a lifestyle intervention via an online social network to participants recruited directly via that network, and 5) delivering a lifestyle intervention via Facebook in a secret-group.

facebook Feasibility and Acceptability of a Post-Partum Weight Loss Intervention Delivered via Facebook
Principal Investigator: Waring
Study Description:The proposed project is a pilot study to test the feasibility and acceptability of a post-partum weight loss intervention delivered via Facebook. Results will include information  on recruitment and retention, engagement, participant satisfaction with the intervention, and weight loss.
Dates of study: 5/1/2014 - 4/30/2015
Funding source: Joseph P. Healey Endowment Fund

gestational Development of a Web-based Intervention to Prevent Excess Gestational Weight Gain
Principal Investigators: Waring
Study Description: The goal of the proposed research is to develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of a web-based intervention to prevent excessive gestational weight gain. We will  adapt an evidence-based lifestyle intervention, the Diabetes Prevention Program, to be consistent with recommendations for weight gain, nutrition, and physical activity during pregnancy and delivery via an interactive website. We will refine the intervention based on feedback via interviews and usability testing with pregnant women, and then assess intervention feasibility and acceptability in a pilot randomized controlled trial of 30 overweight and obese pregnant women.
Dates of study: 4/1/2013 - 3/31/2015
Funding source: UMass Centers for Clinical and Translational Science

cvd Mentoring in mHealth and Social Networking Interventions for CVD Risk Reduction
Principal Investigator: Pagoto
This mid-career development award is designed to support a mentorship plan in mHealth research for cardiovascular disease prevention that leverages the resources and transdisciplinary faculty of the UMass Center for mHealth. Mentees will receive guidance on research and professional development via writing groups, seminars, rotations/experiential learning, live and online courses, conference attendance, formal and informal meetings, and an online social network.
Dates of study:4/7/2015 – 3/31/2020
Funding source: NIH - 1K24HL124366-01
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