Psychological mechanisms in a digital intervention to improve physical activity: A multicentre randomized controlled trial
Ralf Schwarzer , Lisa Marie Warner , Lena Fleig , Maryam Gholami , Sergio Salvatore , Luisella Cianferotti , Evangelia Ntzani , Blanca Roman-Viñas , Antonia Trichopoulou , Maria L. Brandi
AbstractAbstract Objectives The randomized controlled trial examined factors that might be responsible for individual differences in physical activity change among men and women who participated in a lifestyle intervention. The main purpose of the analyses regarded the role of psychological mechanisms involving motivation, planning, self-monitoring, and habit strength. Design A two-arm digital intervention was conducted in Italy, Spain, and Greece to improve physical activity levels, with follow-ups at 3 and 6 months after baseline assessment. Methods Participants were 1,564 adults at baseline, n = 638 at 6-month follow-up. Linear mixed models examined the intervention effects, and a two-group longitudinal structural equation model explored which psychological constructs (motivation, planning, self-monitoring, habit strength) were associated with changes in physical activity. Results In addition to an overall increase in self-reported activity, there were interactions between time and sex and between time and experimental groups, and a triple interaction between time, sex, and experimental groups, indicating that men reported an increase in activity independent of groups, whereas women in the active control group did not benefit from the intervention. Planning, self-monitoring, and habit strength mediated sequentially between initial motivation and follow-up physical activity. Conclusions Although the intervention produced overall improvements in physical activity, the time-by-treatment interaction emerged only for women. The mechanism included a sequence leading from motivation via planning, self-monitoring, and habit strength towards physical activity.
|Journal series||British Journal of Health Psychology, ISSN 1359-107X, (A 35 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.7|
|Publication indicators||: 2017 = 1.457; : 2017 = 2.706 (2) - 2017=3.197 (5)|
|Citation count*||5 (2021-01-21)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.