Rationale and design of Smart Walk: A randomized controlled pilot trial of a smartphone-delivered physical activity and cardiometabolic risk reduction intervention for African American women.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:African American (AA) women perform low levels of physical activity (PA) and are disproportionally burdened by cardiometabolic disease conditions when compared to White women and the U.S. population as a whole. These disparities emphasize the need for innovative and effective interventions to increase PA and reduce cardiometabolic disease risk among AA women. Recent evidence suggests that mobile health (mHealth) interventions have the potential to increase PA and reduce cardiometabolic disease risk factors. Few studies have examined the efficacy of mHealth PA interventions among racial/ethnic minorities, including AA women. This represents a missed opportunity given the reported success of technology-delivered PA interventions in predominately White populations and the high use of technology among AA women. OBJECTIVE:To describe the design, theoretical rationale, and cultural relevance of Smart Walk, a culturally sensitive smartphone-delivered PA intervention for AA women. DESIGN AND METHODS:Smart Walk is an 8-month, randomized controlled pilot trial designed to increase PA and reduce cardiometabolic disease risk among AA women. Sixty physically inactive AA women with obesity will be assigned to receive either a culturally relevant intervention designed to increase PA (by targeting leisure-time, household chore/task-related, and occupational PA) or a culturally relevant wellness attention-matched control condition. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 4?months, and 8?months, and include feasibility and acceptability of the PA intervention and evaluation of effects on PA and cardiometabolic risk factors. SUMMARY:Smart Walk represents a culturally relevant, theory-based approach to promote PA and reduce cardiometabolic disease risk in AA women.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Smart Walk is a culturally relevant, social cognitive theory-based, smartphone-delivered intervention designed to increase physical activity (PA) and reduce cardiometabolic disease risk among African American (AA) women. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to describe the development and initial usability testing results of Smart Walk. METHODS:Smart Walk was developed in 5 phases. Phases 1 to 3 focused on initial intervention development, phase 4 involved usability testing, and phase 5 included intervention refinement based on usability testing results. In phase 1, a series of 9 focus groups with 25 AA women (mean age 38.5 years, SD 7.8; mean BMI 39.4 kg/m2, SD 7.3) was used to identify cultural factors associated with PA and ascertain how constructs of social cognitive theory can be leveraged in the design of a PA intervention. Phase 2 included the analysis of phase 1 qualitative data and development of the structured PA intervention. Phase 3 focused on the technical development of the smartphone app used to deliver the intervention. Phase 4 consisted of a 1-month usability trial of Smart Walk (n=12 women; mean age 35.0 years, SD 8.5; mean BMI 40 kg/m2, SD 5.0). Phase 5 included refinement of the intervention based on the usability trial results. RESULTS:The 5-phase process resulted in the development of the Smart Walk smartphone-delivered PA intervention. This PA intervention was designed to target social cognitive theory constructs of behavioral capability, outcome expectations, social support, self-efficacy, and self-regulation and address deep structure sociocultural characteristics of collectivism, racial pride, and body appearance preferences of AA women. Key features of the smartphone app included (1) personal profile pages, (2) multimedia PA promotion modules (ie, electronic text and videos), (3) discussion boards, and (4) a PA self-monitoring tool. Participants also received 3 PA promotion text messages each week. CONCLUSIONS:The development process of Smart Walk was designed to maximize the usability, cultural relevance, and impact of the smartphone-delivered PA intervention.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Although physical activity (PA) reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, physical inactivity remains a pressing public health concern, especially among African American (AA) women in the USA. PA interventions focused on AA women living in resource-limited communities with scarce PA infrastructure are needed. Mobile health (mHealth) technology can increase access to PA interventions. We describe the development of a clinical protocol for a multilevel, community-based, mHealth PA intervention for AA women.<h4>Methods and analysis</h4>An mHealth intervention targeting AA women living in resource-limited Washington, DC communities was developed based on the socioecological framework for PA. Over 6?months, we will use a Sequential Multi-Assignment, Randomized Trial approach to compare the effects on PA of location-based remote messaging (named 'tailored-to-place') to standard remote messaging in an mHealth intervention. Participants will be randomised to a remote messaging intervention for 3?months, at which point the intervention strategy will adapt based on individuals' PA levels. Those who do not meet the PA goal will be rerandomised to more intensive treatment. Participants will be followed for another 3?months to determine the contribution of each mHealth intervention to PA level. This protocol will use novel statistical approaches to account for the adaptive strategy. Finally, effects of PA changes on CVD risk biomarkers will be characterised.<h4>Ethics and dissemination</h4>This protocol has been developed in partnership with a Washington, DC-area community advisory board to ensure feasibility and acceptability to community members. The National Institutes of Health Intramural IRB approved this research and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provided funding. Once published, results of this work will be disseminated to community members through presentations at community advisory board meetings and our quarterly newsletter.<h4>Trial registration number</h4>NCT03288207.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mobile health (mHealth) interventions are promising avenues to promote cardiovascular (CV) health among African-Americans (AAs) and culturally tailored technology-based interventions are emerging for this population. OBJECTIVE:The objectives of this study were to use a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to recruit AAs into a pilot intervention study of an innovative mHealth CV health promotion program and to characterize technology use patterns and eHealth literacy (EHL). METHODS:Community partners from five predominately AA churches in southeast Minnesota collaborated with our academic institution to recruit AA congregants into the pilot study. Field notes as well as communications between the study team and community partners were used to design the recruitment strategy and its implementation with a goal of enrolling 50 participants. At its core, the recruitment strategy included community kickoff events to detail the state-of-the-art nature of the mHealth intervention components, the utility of CV health assessments (physical examination, laboratory studies and surveys) and the participants' role in advancing our understanding of the efficacy of mHealth interventions among racial/ethnic minority groups. Detailed recruitment data were documented throughout the study. A self-administered, electronic survey measured sociodemographics, technology use and EHL (eHEALS scale). RESULTS:A total of 50 participants (70% women) from five AA churches were recruited over a one-month period. The majority (>90%) of participants reported using some form of mobile technology with all utilizing these technologies within their homes. Greater than half (60% [30/50]) reported being "very comfortable" with mobile technologies. Overall, participants had high EHL (84.8% [39/46] with eHEALS score ≥26) with no differences by sex. CONCLUSIONS:This study illustrates the feasibility and success of a CBPR approach in recruiting AAs into mHealth intervention research and contributes to the growing body of evidence that AAs have high EHL, are high-users of mobile technologies, and thus are likely to be receptive to mHealth interventions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:High sedentary time, low physical activity (PA), and low physical fitness place older adults at increased risk of chronic diseases, functional decline, and premature mortality. Mobile health (mHealth) apps, apps that run on mobile platforms, may help promote active living. OBJECTIVE:We aimed to quantify the effect of mHealth app interventions on sedentary time, PA, and fitness in older adults. METHODS:We systematically searched five electronic databases for trials investigating the effects of mHealth app interventions on sedentary time, PA, and fitness among community-dwelling older adults aged 55 years and older. We calculated pooled standardized mean differences (SMDs) in these outcomes between the intervention and control groups after the intervention period. We performed a Cochrane risk of bias assessment and Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation certainty assessment. RESULTS:Overall, six trials (486 participants, 66.7% [324/486] women; age mean 68 [SD 6] years) were included (five of these trials were included in the meta-analysis). mHealth app interventions may be associated with decreases in sedentary time (SMD=-0.49; 95% CI -1.02 to 0.03), increases in PA (506 steps/day; 95% CI -80 to 1092), and increases in fitness (SMD=0.31; 95% CI -0.09 to 0.70) in trials of 3 months or shorter and with increases in PA (753 steps/day; 95% CI -147 to 1652) in trials of 6 months or longer. Risk of bias was low for all but one study. The quality of evidence was moderate for PA and sedentary time and low for fitness. CONCLUSIONS:mHealth app interventions have the potential to promote changes in sedentary time and PA over the short term, but the results did not achieve statistical significance, possibly because studies were underpowered by small participant numbers. We highlight a need for larger trials with longer follow-up to clarify if apps deliver sustained clinically important effects.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite improvements in mortality rates over the past several decades, cardiovascular (CV) disease remains the leading cause of death for African-Americans (AAs). Innovative approaches through mobile health (mHealth) interventions have the potential to support lifestyle change for CV disease prevention among AAs. We aimed to translate a behavioral theory-informed, evidence-based, face-to-face health education program into an mHealth lifestyle intervention for AAs. We describe the design and development of a culturally relevant, CV health and wellness digital application (app) and pilot testing using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach with AA churches. METHODS:This mixed methods study used a 4-phase iterative development process for intervention design with the AA community. Phase 1 included focus groups with AA community members and church partners (n = 23) to gain insight regarding potential app end user preferences. In Phase 2, the interdisciplinary research team synthesized Phase 1 input for preliminary app design and content development. Phase 3 consisted of a sequential 3-meeting series with church partners (n = 13) for iterative app prototyping (assessment, cultural tailoring, final review). Phase 4, a single group pilot study among AA church congregants (n = 50), assessed app acceptability, usability, and satisfaction. RESULTS:Phase 1 focus groups indicated general and health-related apps preferences: multifunctional, high-quality graphics/visuals, evidence-based, yet simple health information and social networking capability. Phase 2 integrated these preferences into the preliminary app prototype. Phase 3 feedback was used to refine the app prototype for pilot testing. Phase 4 pilot testing indicated high app acceptability, usability, and satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS:This study illustrates integration of formative and CBPR approaches to design a culturally relevant, mHealth lifestyle intervention to address CV health disparities among AAs. Given the positive app perceptions, our study supports the use of an iterative development process by others interested in implementing an mHealth lifestyle intervention for racial/ethnic minority communities. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03084822.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:A mixed-method, co-design approach to studying the adoption of mobile health (mHealth) technology among African-American (AA) women has not been fully explored. Qualitative data may contextualise existing knowledge surrounding perceptions of mHealth among AA women as part of formative work for designing a physical activity application (app). METHODS:A convenience sample of 16 AA women completed an informatics survey prior to participating in focus groups exploring their use of mobile technology and health apps. Survey responses provided frequency data, while iterative transcript analysis of focus groups identified themes. RESULTS:The majority of participants (mean age=62.1 years, SD=6.6) felt comfortable using a tablet/smartphone (75.0%). Most (68.8%) reported using health-related apps, primarily focused on physical activity and nutrition. Focus groups revealed four overarching concepts, including (1) user attachment, (2) technology adoption, (3) potential facilitators and (4) potential barriers. Important features which may serve as facilitators or barriers to future adoption of a mobile app for an mHealth intervention include individual app tailoring and software concerns, respectively. DISCUSSION:Thematic analysis revealed high user attachment to smartphones and described participants' process for adopting new mHealth technology. CONCLUSION:Early engagement of target end users as a part of a broader co-design and community-based participatory research process for developing mHealth technologies may be useful for sustained adoption of these tools in future mHealth behavioural interventions.
Project description:This community-based study examined physical activity (PA) in relation to cardiometabolic risk factors among 223 adult, immigrant Latina women who were overweight or obese. Participants were predominantly of Mexican descent, married and low-income. Data were obtained through accelerometer readings and clinical measures (e.g., BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, lipid profile, fasting blood sugar). Findings showed that many women were active (mean step count = 8,575 ± 3,191); 27.6 % achieved 10,000 steps per day, and only 11 % were sedentary. They engaged in short bouts of moderate PA rather than long-sustained moderate-to-vigorous activity. Three or more MetS traits were present in 45.3 % of the women, raising concerns about risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. More active women had lower BMI, weight, waist circumference, and triglycerides levels. Results point to the importance of targeting maintenance of PA in active women and intervening with culturally tailored programs to promote healthier behavior in those who are sedentary or somewhat active.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Physical activity (PA) levels in older adults decline with age. The prevalence and correlates of adherence to current UK PA guidelines in older adults has not been studied using objectively measured PA, which can examine precisely whether PA is carried out in bouts of specified length and intensity.<h4>Methods</h4>Free living men and women aged 70-93 years from 25 towns in the United Kingdom, participating in parallel on-going population based cohort studies were invited (by post) to wear a GT3x accelerometer over the hip for one week in 2010-12. Adherence to UK PA guidelines was defined as ?150 minutes/week of moderate or vigorous PA (MVPA) in bouts of ?10 minutes; the effect of different intensities and durations were examined.<h4>Results</h4>1593 men and 857 women participated (responses 51% and 29% respectively). 15% men and 10% women achieved ?150 minutes/week of MVPA (defined as >1040 cpm) in bouts lasting ?10 minutes. With MVPA defined as >1952 cpm, prevalences were 7% and 3% respectively. Those adhering to guidelines were younger, had fewer chronic health conditions, less depression, less severe mobility limitations, but higher exercise self-efficacy and exercise outcomes expectations. They rated their local environment more highly for social activities and leisure facilities, having somewhere nice to go for a walk and feeling safe after dark, They left the house on more days per week, were more likely to use active transport (cycle or walk) and to walk a dog regularly.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Few older adults attain current PA guidelines. Health promotion to extend the duration of moderate-intensity activity episodes to 10 minutes or more could yield important health gains among older adults. However future studies will need to clarify whether attaining guideline amounts of PA in spells lasting 10 minutes or more is critical for reducing chronic disease risks as well as improving cardiometabolic risk factors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Walking is a widely accepted and frequently targeted health promotion approach to increase physical activity (PA). Interventions to increase PA have produced only small improvements. Stronger and more potent behavioral intervention components are needed to increase time spent in PA, improve cardiometabolic risk markers, and optimize health. OBJECTIVE:Our aim is to present the rationale and methods from the WalkIT Trial, a 4-month factorial randomized controlled trial (RCT) in inactive, overweight/obese adults. The main purpose of the study was to evaluate whether intensive adaptive components result in greater improvements to adults' PA compared to the static intervention components. METHODS:Participants enrolled in a 2x2 factorial RCT and were assigned to one of four semi-automated, text message-based walking interventions. Experimental components included adaptive versus static steps/day goals, and immediate versus delayed reinforcement. Principles of percentile shaping and behavioral economics were used to operationalize experimental components. A Fitbit Zip measured the main outcome: participants' daily physical activity (steps and cadence) over the 4-month duration of the study. Secondary outcomes included self-reported PA, psychosocial outcomes, aerobic fitness, and cardiorespiratory risk factors assessed pre/post in a laboratory setting. Participants were recruited through email listservs and websites affiliated with the university campus, community businesses and local government, social groups, and social media advertising. RESULTS:This study has completed data collection as of December 2014, but data cleaning and preliminary analyses are still in progress. We expect to complete analysis of the main outcomes in late 2015 to early 2016. CONCLUSIONS:The Walking Interventions through Texting (WalkIT) Trial will further the understanding of theory-based intervention components to increase the PA of men and women who are healthy, insufficiently active and are overweight or obese. WalkIT is one of the first studies focusing on the individual components of combined goal setting and reward structures in a factorial design to increase walking. The trial is expected to produce results useful to future research interventions and perhaps industry initiatives, primarily focused on mHealth, goal setting, and those looking to promote behavior change through performance-based incentives. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02053259; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02053259 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6b65xLvmg).