Does Behavioral Bootstrapping Boost Weight Control Confidence?: A Pilot Study
James E. Rohrer
Kristin S. Vickers-Douglas
Robert J. Stroebel
Background: Since confidence is an important predictor of ability to lose weight, methods for increasing weight-control confidence are important. The purpose of this study was to test the relationship between short-term behavior changes (`behavioral bootstrapping') and change in weight-control confidence in a small prospective weight-loss project. Methods: Data were available from 38 patients who received an initial motivational interview and a follow-up visit. Body mass index at baseline ranged from 25.5 kg/m2 to 50.4 kg/m2 (mean_=_35.8, median_=_34.4). Independent variables were change in weight (measured in kilograms in the clinic), self-reported change in minutes of physical activity, age, sex, and marital status. Minutes of physical activity were assessed at baseline and after 30 days, using the following question, _How many minutes do you exercise per week (e.g. fast walking, biking, treadmill)?_ Weights were measured in the clinic. Results: Weight change was inversely correlated with change in confidence (p_=_0.01). An increase in physical activity was associated with an increase in confidence (p_=_0.01). Age, sex, and marital status were not related to change in confidence. Independent effects of weight change and physical activity were estimated using multiple linear regression analysis: b_=_-0.44, p_=_0.04 for change in weight, and b_=_0.02, p_=_0.03 for change in physical activity (r2_=_0.28). Conclusions: Short-term changes in behavior (losing weight and exercising more) lead to increased weight-control confidence in primary-care patients.
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