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WELCOME TO THE GAME OF STONES STUDY

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of text message and endowment incentives for weight management in men with obesity: The Game of Stones randomised controlled trial

What is Game Of Stones?

People with obesity are at greater risk of type two diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, stroke, infections like COVID-19 and mobility problems. However, men rarely take part in weight loss services. Together with men who have tried to lose weight, we designed a new weight loss service.

GAME OF STONES AIMS:
To find out if text messages (with and without cash incentives) can help men to lose weight over 1 year and keep it off for another year compared to a waiting list group.

To find out the costs and benefits to the health service, and men’s experiences.
RESEARCHERS IN GLASGOW, BELFAST AND BRISTOL will recruit 585 men who want to lose weight from varied backgrounds. GP practices will send invitation letters and researchers will recruit men at community venues. Men will be allocated by chance to one of three groups: texts with incentives; texts only; and a 12-month waiting list for texts. The full cash incentive is paid at 12 months only if all personal weight loss targets are met when men are weighed at 3, 6, and 12 months. Some money is lost for each target weight that is not met. Weight loss after 12 months is the main outcome hoped for and men are asked questions about their health, quality of life, well-being and experiences. Men are also weighed 1 year later (24 months after the start), a year after the texts stop.

KEY QUESTIONS THIS STUDY WILL ANSWER:
Does Game of Stones help men lose weight and keep it off? What are the costs and benefits for men and the NHS? Does this service help men who are less or more well-off?

THE FINDINGS will be shared with the public, men’s health groups and health service staff through social media, blogs, reports, presentations and research papers.
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Can I take part?

Any man aged 18 or over who is overweight.

Men planning to move out of the area within 12 months or who are planning bariatric surgery in the next 12 months will not be eligible.

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If you are interested in taking part, or have any questions

Where can I take part?

Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Key people:

Investigator:

  • Professor Pat Hoddinott

Address:

Gartnavel General Hospital
1053 Great Western Road
Glasgow
G12 OYN
Belfast and surrounding areas

Key people:

Investigator:

  • Prof Michelle McKinley

Address:

Bristol and SW Gloucestershire

Key people:

Investigator:

  • Dr Katrina Turner

Address:

Study news

Recruitment

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Trial sites

Latest addition to sites:

Bristol and SW Gloucestershire
Belfast and surrounding areas
Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Key facts about the study and documents

WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY?

People with obesity are at greater risk of type two diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, stroke, infections like COVID-19 and mobility problems. However, men rarely take part in weight loss services.

WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF THIS STUDY?
To find out if text messages (with and without cash incentives) can help men to lose weight over 1 year and keep it off for another year compared to a waiting list group. To find out the costs and benefits to the health service, and men’s experiences.



WHERE WILL THIS STUDY TAKE PLACE?
In GP practices and/or a variety of community venues in Glasgow, Bristol and Belfast (and some surrounding areas).

WHO WILL BE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STUDY?
585 men who want to lose weight from varied backgrounds.

WHAT IS MY INVOLVEMENT IN THIS STUDY?
Men will be allocated by chance to one of three groups: texts with incentives; texts only; and a 12-month waiting list for texts. The full cash incentive is paid at 12 months only if all personal weight loss targets are met when men are weighed at 3, 6, and 12 months. Some money is lost for each target weight that is not met. Weight loss after 12 months is the main outcome hoped for and men are asked questions about their health, quality of life, well-being and experiences. Men are also weighed 1 year later (24 months after the start), a year after the texts stop.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE FINDINGS OF THIS STUDY?
The findings will be shared with the public, men’s health groups and health service staff through social media, blogs, reports, presentations and research papers.

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Download documents:

Key contacts

Click on cards to find out more

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Key questions & answers

Click on questions to find out more

Is there a maximum age limit to take part in the trial?

No. Any man over the age of 18 can take part.

Can I decide which trial group I go in?

No. This is decided randomly by a computer program and is out with the control of the research team

I am a woman, can I take part?

Unfortunately, this trial is aimed specifically at men but if you are interested in weight loss, please see the following local resources for advice.

How will Covid-19 affect my participation in this trial?

We will follow all relevant government and local guidelines on Covid-19 in this trial, including measures such as physical distancing, use of antibacterial hand sanitiser/wipes and face masks.

Who should I contact for more information about taking part?

Please email us on gameofstones@stir.ac.uk

Organisation

Funding acknowledgement

This trial is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme. Reference no: NIHR 129703. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.