The Impact of a School-Based Weight Management Program Involving Parents via mHealth for Overweight and Obese Children and Adolescents with Intellectual Disability: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Type Article

Journal Article


R. L. Lee; C. Leung; H. Chen; L. H. T. Louie; M. Brown; J. L. Chen; G. Cheung; P. H. Lee

Year of publication



Int J Environ Res Public Health








There is a scarcity of resources and studies that utilize targeted weight management interventions to engage parents via mHealth tools targeting obese children and adolescents with mild intellectual disabilities (MIDs) extended from school to a home setting. To test the feasibility and acceptability of a school-based weight program (SBWMP) involving parents via mHealth tools designed to reduce weight, enhance knowledge and adopt healthy lifestyles, and thereby achieve better psychosocial well-being among children and adolescents with MIDs. Four special schools were randomly assigned as intervention or control schools. Students from the intervention group (n = 63) were compared to those in the control group (n = 52), which comprised those with usual school planned activities and no parental involvement. Demographics were considered as covariates in a general linear model, an ordinal regression model and a binary logistic regression model analyzing the relationships between the SBWMP and the outcome variables at baseline (T0) and six months later (T1). Body weight, body mass index, and triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness were lower in the intervention group compared to the control group, although the differences were not statistically significant. There was a positive and direct impact of the SBWMP on students' health knowledge and psychological impacts in the intervention group. The SBWMP extended to the home involving parents via mHealth tools is a feasible and acceptable program for this group with MIDs and their parents.