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mWheelActive: A mHealth Intervention to Reduce Sedentary Behaviors in SCI

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 299 K
Funding amount
Background: Research has shown that people with SCI, particularly those who use wheelchairs for locomotion are less likely to be physically active when compared to the able-bodied population. The general population nowadays has access to a plethora of fitness wearables and a variety of fitness apps that provide workout routines and other motivational tips. However, people with SCI have few equivalent means. Research has found that people with SCI face many barriers to PA participation, e.g., the lack of knowledge about what to do and the lack of relevant PA resources.Objectives: The purpose of this study is to develop a novel mHealth intervention “mWheelActive” that help reduce sedentary behaviors and increase PA among wheelchair users with SCI. Our first aim is to develop, pilot test, and refine mWheelActive using participatory action design with the following features: (1) automatic self-monitoring via off-the-shelf fitness wearables; (2) goal setting and action planning; (3) educational materials and adapted workout video library; (4) different types of push notifications. The 2nd aim is to evaluate evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and impact of mWheelActive in a 4-week pilot trial. Study Design: The first phase is to iteratively develop the contents, features, and layouts of mWheelActive. mWheelActive will incorporate several evidenced-based behavioral change techniques including “self-monitoring of behavior”, “goal setting”, “action planning”, “instruction on how to perform a behavior”, “feedback on behavior”, and “demonstration of behavior”. The development will be guided by an advisory panel including end-users and clinical professionals. The 2nd phase will use a pre-post quasi-experiment design with 16 physically inactive manual wheelchair users with SCI for a 4-week feasibility evaluation of mWheelActive. All user-app interactions will be recorded and the main outcome measures will be sedentary behaviors including sedentary time, bouts, and breaks. We will also compare pre and post PA self-efficacy through a questionnaire. Impact & Innovation: The project will yield a self-management tool that integrates sensor-enabled self-monitoring and SCI-appropriate adapted PA resources, providing not only real-time feedback, but also appropriate and readily accessible exercise and PA options. A physically active lifestyle among people with SCI will potentially help reduce the incidence and severity of secondary conditions, and lead to better overall health and higher quality of life. mWheelActive could also serve as a platform for advancing PA research in SCI by allowing researchers to investigate different behavioral change strategies and adapted resources relevant to SCI. (CHN: SCIRTS chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

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    Assistive Technology

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    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

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    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

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    Behavioral and Social Science

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