Background: Self-monitoring is part of many weight-loss programs and is widely accepted as effective. However, there is a lack of research related to the efficacy of various self-monitoring instruments in meeting the needs of individuals with limited mobility or access to healthcare providers, especially those with limited education living in rural settings. Purpose: This study examined the efficacy of using selfmonitoring diaries in a weight loss program targeting chronically ill and obese rural-dwelling adults. Methods: A community-based intervention program using a pretest and posttest design examined the effect of using selfmonitoring diaries on weight loss. Fifty participants were enrolled from the chronic disease clinic of a district health center with limited medical resources in a remote village in southwestern Taiwan. All participants were diagnosed with diabetes and/or hypertension, had body mass indices between 27 and 32 kg/m2, and had a minimum educational level of junior high school. Mean participant age was 43.7 years. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. All attended a mandatory 12-week weight loss program. The intervention group received instructions on how to record diet and exercise details in a structured, graphics-based diary provided by the researchers. Body weight and percentage of body fat were measured before and after the program, and data were analyzed by chi-square and ANCOVA. Results: The intervention group significantly lost more weight than the control group (5.7 kg vs. 2.1 kg; p G .05). The participants of 88% in the intervention group lost 5% or more of their baseline weight greater than the 23% in the control group. Both groups achieved the mean of body fat reductions by comparing pretest and posttest. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: Self-monitoring diaries can have a significant impact on weight loss in individuals living in rural communities. Healthcare providers and health promotion agencies can use the suggested checklist method to improve weight loss promotion programs in isolated rural communities with limited medical resources.
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