Internet provision of tailored advice on falls prevention activities for older people (In C. Foster [Chair], Self managing health related problems)

This source preferred by Samuel Nyman

Authors: Nyman, S.R. and Yardley, L.

Start date: September 2007

Background: Three studies are presented that evaluated a website, which uses behaviour change theory and tailoring, to encourage older people to undertake strength and balance training (SBT) to prevent falls.

Methods: Study 1: 16 older people interacted with the website and gave their views using ‘think aloud’ and semi-structured interview techniques. Study 2: 280 older people were randomly assigned to either the tailored version or a generic (comparison) version of the website advice, and then completed an online questionnaire. Study 3: 26 sheltered housing wardens interacted with the website and gave their views in a semi-structured interview. Studies 1 and 3 produced qualitative data that was analysed thematically.

Findings: Study 1: The website was perceived as usable and acceptable, with one usability issue to address. Some older people underestimated how much activity was enough to improve balance, whereas others perceived themselves as too old for SBT. Study 2: A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) found a significant difference between the two groups, and follow-up tests indicated that the tailored version was perceived as more personally relevant (p = .014) and increased self-efficacy (p = .047) and intention (p = .039) to perform SBT more than the generic version. Study 3: The website was perceived as usable and acceptable, and the wardens were motivated to assist older people who are not computer literate to access the advice.

Discussion: The website presented is a usable and acceptable vehicle, which is more effective in presenting SBT advice than a generic comparison.

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