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ImpulsePal: The systematic development of a smartphone app to manage food temptations using intervention mapping

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Version 1 2022-01-17, 10:52
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-19, 07:38 authored by SB van Beurden, CJ Greaves, Charles AbrahamCharles Abraham, NS Lawrence, JR Smith
Background Impulsive processes driving eating behaviour can often undermine peoples’ attempts to change their behaviour, lose weight and maintain weight loss. Aim To develop an impulse management intervention to support weight loss in adults. Methods Intervention Mapping (IM) was used to systematically develop the “ImpulsePal” intervention. The development involved: (1) a needs assessment including a qualitative study, Patient and Public advisory group and expert group consultations, and a systematic review of impulse management techniques; (2) specification of performance objectives, determinants, and change objectives; (3) selection of intervention strategies (mapping of change techniques to the determinants of change); (4) creation of programme materials; (5) specification of adoption and implementation plans; (6) devising an evaluation plan. Results Application of the IM Protocol resulted in a smartphone app that could support reductions in unhealthy (energy dense) food consumption, overeating, and alcoholic and sugary drink consumption. ImpulsePal includes inhibition training, mindfulness techniques, implementation intentions (if-then planning), visuospatial loading, use of physical activity for craving management, and context-specific reminders. An “Emergency Button” was also included to provide access to in-the-moment support when temptation is strong. Conclusions ImpulsePal is a novel, theory- and evidence-informed, person-centred app that aims to support impulse management for healthier eating. Intervention Mapping facilitated the incorporation of app components that are practical operationalisations of change techniques targeting our specific change objectives and their associated theoretical determinants. Using IM enabled transparency and provided a clear framework for evaluation, and enhances replicability and the potential of the intervention to accomplish the desired outcome of facilitating weight loss through dietary change.

History

Journal

Digital Health

Volume

7

Article number

ARTN 20552076211057667

Pagination

1 - 17

Location

United States

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

2055-2076

eISSN

2055-2076

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD