University of Oulu

Young-Gyun Seo, Tuire Salonurmi, Terhi Jokelainen, Pasi Karppinen, Anna-Maria Teeriniemi, Junhee Han, Kyung Hee Park, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen & Markku J. Savolainen (2020) Lifestyle counselling by persuasive information and communications technology reduces prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a dose–response manner: a randomized clinical trial (PrevMetSyn), Annals of Medicine, 52:6, 321-330, DOI: 10.1080/07853890.2020.1783455

Lifestyle counselling by persuasive information and communications technology reduces prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a dose–response manner : a randomized clinical trial (PrevMetSyn)

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Author: Seo, Young-Gyun1; Salonurmi, Tuire2,3,4; Jokelainen, Terhi5;
Organizations: 1Department of Family Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea
2Biocenter Oulu, Research Unit of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Center of Internal Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Unit of Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
6Oulu Advanced Research on Service and Information Systems, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Statistics, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-08-18


Objectives: The aim was to investigate whether lifestyle changes produced by persuasive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) counselling can lower the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Methods: A total of 532 participants (20–60 years, body mass index 27–35 kg/m²) were randomly assigned to six arms according to counselling type (no, short-term, or intensive) with or without ICT intervention. In this report the prevalence of MetS and its components were compared between no-ICT group and ICT group. Moreover, the frequency of the web information system usage was analysed for the number of logins, responses to weekly messages, and other record variables.

Results: The ICT group had significantly lower proportion of MetS (33.7% vs. 45.3%, p = .022) than the no-ICT group at 2-year follow-up. In mixed model, the ICT group had lower prevalence of MetS than no-ICT group (OR 0.50, 95%CI 0.27–0.90) after intervention. The tertile with the highest utilization had 71% lower prevalence of MetS compared with the lowest utilization tertile or the no-ICT group.

Conclusions: Web-based ICT is able to reduce the prevalence of MetS. In addition, higher utilization of the web information system is associated with a greater decrease in the prevalence of MetS.

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Key messages

Our internet health behaviour change support system based on persuasive design and cognitive behaviour therapy markedly reduces metabolic syndrome in overweight/obese subjects. As a stand-alone tool it may save healthcare personnel resources as it is suitable at a low cost for both obese/overweight patients and the public at large.

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Series: Annals of medicine
ISSN: 0785-3890
ISSN-E: 1365-2060
ISSN-L: 0785-3890
Volume: 52
Issue: 6
Pages: 321 - 330
DOI: 10.1080/07853890.2020.1783455
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland, the Academy of Finland, the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation, the Juho Vainio Foundation, the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, and the Diabetes Research Foundation. The City of Oulu, Finland, has provided funding for the clinical laboratory analysis of the samples of the subjects.
Dataset Reference: Supplemental material:
Copyright information: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.