Publication Date:
Author(s): Krista Leonard, B Evans, M Evans, Zita Oravecz, Joshua Morrison Smyth, Danielle Downs
Publication Type: Journal Article
Journal Title: Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Page Range: 25-41

This review characterizes the effect of technology-supported interventions on prenatal gestational weight gain (GWG), physical activity, and healthy eating behaviors and describes intervention characteristics that may influence intervention effectiveness. A systematic search was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science, and CINHAL and identified prenatal technology-supported randomized controlled trials (RCT) targeting GWG, physical activity, and/or healthy eating behaviors (N = 21). Authors aggregated effect sizes to estimate overall effectiveness and calculated means of effect sizes as a function of intervention characteristics (i.e., delivery mode, type of technology, frequency of technology, correspondence between technology tool and targeted behavior). Random effects models revealed technology-supported RCTs had small effects on GWG (d = 0.23), physical activity (d = 0.38), energy intake (d = 0.38), and eating behaviors (d = 0.16). RCTs using technology with face-to-face sessions, tracking tools, and incorporating devices daily were associated with slightly larger effects, particularly for physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. Although there are small effects of technology-supported interventions on lowering GWG and improving physical activity and healthy eating behaviors, these effects may be improved by particular intervention characteristics such as delivery mode (e.g., technology plus face-to-face), type of technology (e.g., tracking tools), and frequency of technology prescribed (e.g., daily). Given the challenges and barriers of promoting prenatal GWG regulation, physical activity, and healthy eating behaviors, leveraging the use of technology to implement interventions may be a useful strategy to optimize maternal and infant well-being.