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J Telemed Telecare. 2012 Jan;18(1):20-5. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2011.110311. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

A walking intervention for postmenopausal women using mobile phones and Interactive Voice Response.

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  • 1Edward R Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-2520, USA.


We conducted a feasibility study of a 12-week walking intervention administered through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and mobile phones. We also examined the added benefit of a human coach. Post-menopausal women (n = 71) were given a daily-steps goal, which they monitored using a pedometer. Each day, they answered an automated call from the IVR system to their mobile phone and provided assessments of walking goals and mood. Every evening, they called the IVR system to report their steps, answered a brief questionnaire and received a message with a helpful hint. Participants took less time to complete a one-mile walk after the intervention, compared to baseline (0.77 min, SE = 0.22, P < 0.001). In addition, a significant loss in body weight (0.93 kg, SE = 0.31) and body-mass index (0.28 kg/m(2), SE = 0.11) were observed. The key psychometric measures of exercise goal setting (0.67 units, SE = 0.12) and exercise planning (0.48 units, SE = 0.09) also improved from baseline (both P < 0.001). However, results in the coach and no-coach conditions were not significantly different. The study suggests that mobile phones can be used to deliver an effective, low-cost walking intervention, irrespective of the addition of a human coach.

Copyright © 2012 by the Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd

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