Using a Website to Build Community and Enhance Outcomes in a Group, Multi-Component Intervention Promoting Healthy Diet and Exercise in Adolescents

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Abstract

Objective

This article describes website use and behavioral outcomes in a multi-component lifestyle intervention promoting healthy diet and exercise.

Methods

A 2-year randomized clinical trial to improve bone density in 228 adolescent girls, the intervention included a website designed to enhance intervention adherence, retention of participants, and behavioral outcomes. Measures included diet and exercise recalls, surveys, and web-usage data.

Results

Website use was associated with increases in calcium intake (ß=69.72, p=.01, ES=0.15) and high-impact activity (ß=10.93, p=.04, ES=.13). Use of web pages related to behavioral feedback and communications was not significantly associated with behavioral outcomes. The most visited website pages had content related to incentive points, caption contests, and fun facts.

Conclusions

Web elements of a multi-component intervention may promote retention and engagement in target behaviors. Such websites may be most acceptable to adolescent participants if they blend fun and behavioral elements, rather than exclusively focusing on behavioral changes.

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