Exploring the effectiveness of a fitness-app prototype for home care service users in Austria and Italy

Birgit Trukeschitz, Siegfried Eisenberg, Cornelia Schneider, Ulrike Schneider

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


"An infinite number of fitness apps are available on various app stores. However, hardly any of them are fitted to the needs and requirements of care-dependent peo-ple. This paper investigates the effectiveness of a customised fitness-app prototype for increasing physical activity in home care service users. Home care service users from Austria and Italy were randomly assigned to two groups. In total, 216 partici-pants were involved in the field trial, 104 received a tablet with the fitness app and an activity tracker (treatment group), 112 did not (control group). Regularity of physical activity, frequency of fitness exercises and walking behaviour were self- reported by participants at baseline, after 4 months and after 8 months. In addition, the frequency of using the prototype was assessed based on the fitness app's logged usage data. We estimated multilevel mixed-effects ordered logistic models to examine the effects of the intervention. After 4 months, the intervention increased the home care users’ probability of agreeing strongly with being physically active on a regular basis by 28 percentage points (p< 0.001; 95% CI: 0.20, 0.36) and their probability of reporting to exercise more than once a week by 45 percentage points (p< 0.001; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.57). Walking behaviour was not affected on group- level but improved for frequent users of the activity tracker. Frequent and regular users of the fitness app benefited most and effects persisted until the end of the 8 months controlled trial. Tailoring a fitness-app prototype to the needs of care-dependent people has the potential to support people with functional limitations to engage in a more active lifestyle. Future research is encouraged to seek further insights into how new technologies can sup-port physical activities in people with long-term care needs."
Seiten (von - bis)e2884-e2895
FachzeitschriftHealth and Social Care in the Community
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022

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