The efficacy of a website that tailors information on strength and balance training

This source preferred by Samuel Nyman

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

Start date: 6 September 2007

Background: This study investigated the efficacy of a website that uses behaviour change theory and tailoring to encourage older people to undertake strength and balance training (SBT) for the prevention of falls. Methods: A meta-analysis was performed on two similar studies conducted by the authors, that compared online tailored SBT information with a generic equivalent. Those randomised to the tailored SBT information received information that was matched to their perceived balance, health problems, activity preferences, and concerns. It was hypothesised that older people receiving the tailored information would report more positive attitudes towards the advice and greater intention to undertake SBT. In addition, the tailored group completed another brief questionnaire after completing an action plan. It was hypothesised that completing an action plan would increase the tailored group’s confidence and intention to carry out SBT. Findings: The studies had a pooled sample size of 582 adults (301 tailored group, 281 generic group) aged 60-97 years. The overall pooled effect was significant in favour of the tailored advice (r = .18, p = .01), and the pooled repeated measures effect within the tailored group (n= 235) found the action plan to significantly increase the effect of tailoring (r = .24, p = .001). Discussion: The meta-analysis showed that tailoring online information on SBT has a small but significant effect, in increasing older people’s attitudes and intentions to undertake SBT. The action plan enhances this effect, which is a positive step in preventing falls and ageing well.

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