Vol. 18 No. 1 (2014): Journal of Nursing Pensar Enfermagem
Review articles

Effectiveness of e-Health intervention programs in obese adolescents: systematic review of literature

Pedro Miguel Lopes de Sousa
Escola Superior de Saúde do IPL, MSc, RN

Published 2014-10-01


  • obesity,
  • adolescent,
  • effectiveness,
  • e-health,
  • Internet

How to Cite

Lopes de Sousa, P. M. (2014). Effectiveness of e-Health intervention programs in obese adolescents: systematic review of literature. Pensar Enfermagem, 18(1), 27–39. https://doi.org/10.56732/pensarenf.v18i1.87


The high prevalence of obesity in adolescents is a serious public health problem and the consequences for adolescents’ health tend to continue into adulthood. The problem of obesity has a central role, being considered as the epidemic of the XXI century. In this context, nurses can play a central role, giving the patient the knowledge and skills to adapt to new lifestyles and adhering to healthy behaviors. The introduction of information and communication technologies in health (e-health) has potential benefits for citizens and care providers: cost reduction, improved accessibility, relative anonymity, the ability to individualize treatment programs and the possibility of maintaining prolonged contact. 

Given the presented context, we tried to systematise the information about the effectiveness of e-health intervention programs in weight reduction in obese adolescents. From the references initially identified in several online databases, four randomized clinical trials were selected. There are still few studies on the effect of e-health therapeutic interventions in the treatment of obese adolescents. Altogether we studied 299 obese adolescents, aged between 11 and 18 years, and the few existing studies were conducted in the USA. Intervention programs ranged between 16 weeks and 2 years, including several strategies and addressing, sometimes, not only the individual but also his family. Although no studies have shown a significant long-term reduction in weight, the results support the potential of e-health interventions as a viable component of weight management and underline the need for additional studies to optimize the Internet as an effective channel of communication for teenagers.


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