264122 Using the web to promote physical activity among adults with physical disabilities: An exploratory study

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Carolyn Lullo, MS, PhD Candidate , Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Because of the paucity of research in this area, the current study explores the potential of internet programming for increasing physical activity (PA) participation among adults with physical disabilities. During the 14-weeks of the program, participants had phone, email, and online chat access to coaches, interactive behavioral tracking tools, and received weekly reminders to return to the program. The program updated weekly with exercise videos tailored to their functional level and educational/motivational resources. PA participation was measured at pre and post intervention using a self-report web survey. Among those who completed the post survey (n=146, 58.6% response rate; age: 48.211.1 years; 83.6% female; 86.3% Caucasian), there were significant differences in moderate (+75.8245.2min/wk, t=3.7, p<0.01), vigorous (+19.351.7min/wk, t=4.5, p<0.01), and total PA (+95.2252.2, t=4.6, p<0.01) from pre to post. To explore differences based on program engagement, participants were divided into two groups: non-engagers (those who returned to the program no more than once after registration, n=68) and engagers (n=78). There were no significant differences between groups for changes in PA, but differences between groups in vigorous PA approached significance (NE: +10.841.4min/wk; E: +26.758.5min/wk; p=.06). The preliminary analysis of this exploratory study suggests that internet programs may be an effective means of increasing PA participation among people with disabilities and, thus, adds significantly to this growing area of research. Further exploration of program impact, reach, and engagement as well as effective program design features is necessary.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the potential for the use of the web in promoting physical activity for adults with disabilities. 2. Identify areas for further research in the area of web-based health promotion programming. 3. Describe the features of a program that suggests that the web may be an effective means for increasing physical activity participation among adults with disabilities.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a PhD candidate in the Disability Studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago where I study health promotion for people with disabilities. The current study is a portion of my dissertation work. I have been a part of several federally funded research projects in the area of health promotion/physical activity for people with disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.