Effects of remote feedback in home-based physical activity interventions for older adults: A systematic review

Farseeing partners from the German Sport University Cologne publish an interesting paper on the effects of remote feedback on physical activity.

Hilde Geraedts, Agnes Zijlstra, Sjoerd K. Bulstra, Martin Stevens, Wiebren Zijlstra. Patient Education and Counseling 91 (2013) 14–24.

Objective: To evaluate the literature on effectiveness of remote feedback on physical activity and capacity in home-based physical activity interventions for older adults with or without medical conditions. In addition, the effect of remote feedback on adherence was inventoried.
Methods: A systematic review. Data sources included PubMed, PsycInfo, Cochrane and EMBASE. A best evidence synthesis was used for qualitative summarizing of results.
Results:  Twenty-four studies met the inclusion criteria for systematic effectiveness evaluation and 22 for adherence inventory. Three categories of contact were identified: frequent, non-frequent, and direct remote contact during exercising. Evidence for positive enhancement of physical activity or capacity varied from conflicting in frequent contact strategies (16 studies) to strong in non-frequent (5 studies) and direct contact strategies (3 studies). Adherence rates in intervention groups were similar or higher than treatment-as-usual or exercise control groups.
Conclusion: Results imply with varying strength that interventions using frequent, non-frequent or direct remote feedback seem more effective than treatment as usual and equally effective as supervised exercise interventions. Direct remote contact seems a particularly good alternative to supervised onsite exercising.
Practice implications: Remote feedback is promising in an older population getting increasingly used to new technology.





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