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Translating Behavior Change Principles Into a Blended Exercise Intervention for Older Adults: Design Study.

Translating Behavior Change Principles Into a Blended Exercise Intervention for Older Adults: Design Study.

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Translating Behavior Change Principles Into a Blended Exercise Intervention for Older Adults: Design Study.

JMIR Res Protoc. 2018 May 02;7(5):e117

Authors: Mehra S, Visser B, Dadema T, van den Helder J, Engelbert RH, Weijs PJ, Kröse BJ

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Physical activity can prevent or delay age-related impairments and prolong the ability of older adults to live independently. Community-based programs typically offer classes where older adults can exercise only once a week under the guidance of an instructor. The health benefits of such programs vary. Exercise frequency and the duration of the program play a key role in realizing effectiveness. An auxiliary home-based exercise program can provide older adults the opportunity to exercise more regularly over a prolonged period of time in the convenience of their own homes. Furthermore, mobile electronic devices can be used to motivate and remotely guide older adults to exercise in a safe manner. Such a blended intervention, where technology is combined with personal guidance, needs to incorporate behavior change principles to ensure effectiveness.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify theory-based components of a blended intervention that supports older adults to exercise at home.
METHODS: The Medical Research Council framework was used to develop the blended intervention. Insights from focus group, expert panels, and literature were combined into leading design considerations.
RESULTS: A client-server system had been developed that combined a tablet app with a database in the cloud and a Web-based dashboard that can be used by a personal coach to remotely monitor and guide older adults. The app contains several components that facilitate behavior change-an interactive module for goal setting, the ability to draw up a personal training schedule from a library containing over 50 exercise videos, progress monitoring, and possibilities to receive remote feedback and guidance of a personal coach.
CONCLUSIONS: An evidence-based blended intervention was designed to promote physical activity among older adults. The underlying design choices were underpinned by behavior change techniques that are rooted in self-regulation. Key components of the tablet-supported intervention were a tailored program that accommodates individual needs, demonstrations of functional exercises, monitoring, and remote feedback. The blended approach combines the convenience of a home-based exercise program for older adults with the strengths of mobile health and personal guidance.

PMID: 29720358 [PubMed]

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