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Prev Med. 2005 Jan;40(1):54-9.

Engagement and retention of participants in a physical activity website.

Author information

  • 1School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Australia. e.leslie@sph.uq.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Websites have the potential to deliver enhanced versions of targeted and tailored physical activity programs to large numbers of participants. We describe participant engagement and retention with a stage-based physical activity website in a workplace setting.

METHODS:

We analyzed data from participants in the website condition of a randomized trial designed to test the efficacy of a print- vs. website-delivered intervention. They received four stage-targeted e-mails over 8 weeks, with hyperlinks to the website. Both objective and self-reported website use data were collected and analyzed.

RESULTS:

Overall, 327 were randomized to the website condition and 250 (76%) completed the follow-up survey. Forty-six percent (n = 152) visited the website over the trial period. A total of 4,114 hits to the website were recorded. Participants who entered the site spent on average 9 min per visit and viewed 18 pages. Website use declined over time; 77% of all visits followed the first e-mail.

CONCLUSIONS:

Limited website engagement, despite the perceived usefulness of the materials, demonstrates possible constraints on the use of e-mails and websites in delivering health behavior change programs. In the often-cluttered information environment of workplaces, issues of engagement and retention in website-delivered programs require attention.

PMID:
15530581
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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