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mHealth Physical Activity Intervention for Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: Planning and Development Processes

HumanInsight mHealth Physical Activity Intervention for Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: Planning and Development Processes

JMIR Form Res. 2022 Aug 19;6(8):e34303. doi: 10.2196/34303.


BACKGROUND: Interventions to support physical activity participation among individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) are required given this population's low levels of physical activity and extensive barriers to quality physical activity experiences.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop a mobile health intervention, called SCI Step Together, to improve the quantity and quality of physical activity among individuals with SCI who walk.

METHODS: Our overarching methodological framework was the Person-Based approach. This included the following 4 steps: conduct primary and secondary research (step 1); design intervention objectives and features (step 2a); conduct behavioral analysis and theory (step 2b); create a logic model (step 3); and complete the SCI Step Together program content and integrated knowledge translation (IKT; step 4), which occurred throughout development. The partnership approach was informed by the SCI IKT Guiding Principles. Three end users pilot-tested the app and participated in the interviews.

RESULTS: Step 1 identified issues to be addressed when designing intervention objectives and features (step 2a) and features were mapped onto the Behavior Change Wheel (step 2b) to determine the behavior change techniques (eg, action planning) to be included in the app. The logic model linked the mechanisms of action to self-determination theory (steps 2/3). Interviews with end users generated recommendations for the technology (eg, comparing physical activity levels with guidelines), trial (eg, emailing participants' worksheets), and intervention content (eg, removing graded tasks; step 4).

CONCLUSIONS: Using the SCI IKT Guiding Principles to guide partner engagement and involvement ensured that design partners had shared decision-making power in intervention development. Equal decision-making power maximizes the meaningfulness of the app for end users. Future research will include testing the acceptability, feasibility, and engagement of the program. Partners will be involved throughout the research process.


PMID:35984695 | DOI:10.2196/34303

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