Efficacy and acceptability of an online intervention to increase physical activity and perceived behavioural control
Maltinsky, W. (2015) Efficacy and acceptability of an online intervention to increase physical activity and perceived behavioural control, no. 192.
Aim: Physical activity has long been recognised as a means of enhancing and protecting health, but the levels of engagement are far from optimal in Scotland. Previous research has demonstrated that increasing perceived behavioural control alongside the use of action and coping plans can be effective in changing physical activity behaviour. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and acceptability of combined techniques for planning and increasing perceived behavioural control alongside assessing the need for practitioner support for online intervention delivery. This study also set to examine the relationship between the targets that individuals set and how these compare to behavioural outcomes, which previously had not been undertaken. Method: An online intervention designed to increase perceived behavioural control and support the creation of action and coping plan was delivered over two weeks in a 2 x 2 factorial random allocation study. The two factors were practitioner support and the intervention with a fourth group acting as a control. Participants completed a pre and post-test theory of planned behaviour questionnaire and recorded physical activity over 4 weeks using pedometers and self-report diaries. Results: PBC increased across all participants however there was no statistically significant difference between conditions and so this increase could not be attributed to the intervention. A trend of increased walking was observed in the intervention and practitioner support condition. However while the differences were bordering on being clinically significant, they did not reach statistically significant difference. Of those who completed action and coping plans, 73 % achieved self-set targets. Acceptability of the intervention was high with 79% indicating that they would use it again, and recommend it to others. Conclusion: Examining action and coping plans revealed that individuals will set moderate goals in response to an intervention guiding them to do so and incrementally increase towards these. Longer time-frames may be able to reveal a gradual increase of physical activity engagement which can be of benefit to health, over and above the effects of participation in a physical activity study.