POWERS forID: Personalized Online Weight and Exercise Response System for Individuals with Intellectual Disability: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Academic Article


  • Background: Intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. Adults with ID exhibit higher rates of obesity and poorer health status compared to the general population. Continuity of care and barriers to health-related activities may contribute to the poorer health status observed in this population. To address this problem, a tailored weight management online health information and communication technology platform, known as POWERSforID, was developed and is being tested to determine if this delivery mechanism can improve weight maintenance/weight loss in adults with ID. Methods: Obese adults with mild-to-moderate ID (n = 70) are randomized to the POWERS forID intervention or control group for a 24-week trial. Each group undergoes an assessment that includes body weight, waist circumference, and percent body fat at baseline and at weeks 6, 12, and 24. Physical activity barriers, healthy eating barriers, food frequency, and psychosocial wellbeing are measured at baseline and at weeks 12 and 24. Blood lipids are assessed at baseline and 24 weeks. Participants randomized to POWERS forID receive access to the POWERS forID website and calls from a health coach (weekly during weeks 1-12, biweekly during weeks 13-24). The health coach employs motivational interviewing techniques adapted for individuals with ID to promote behavior change. Participants randomized to the control group receive standard clinical weight-loss care. Differences in weight, waist circumference, blood lipids, percent body fat, and psychosocial self-report will be assessed. Barriers and facilitators of implementation as well as perception of study outcomes will be conducted via qualitative analysis. Discussion: POWERS forID is a novel information and communication technology platform designed to address health needs for adults with ID. This article describes the development and components of POWERS forID. The overall aim is to assess usability and feasibility of POWERS forID for promoting weight loss for obese adults with ID over the course of a 24-week randomized control trial. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03139760. Registered on XXX.
  • Published In

  • Trials  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Neumeier WH; Guerra N; Thirumalai M; Geer B; Ervin D; Rimmer JH
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 1