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Computer-Based Physical Activity Advice for Ethnic Minority Aging Adults

This study has been completed.
Northeastern University
Information provided by:
Stanford University Identifier:
First received: June 14, 2010
Last updated: June 18, 2010
Last verified: June 2010

Despite the recognized health benefits of a physically active lifestyle, mid-life and older low-income and ethnic minority adults, including Hispanic Americans, are among the least active and understudied groups in the U.S. This research aims to develop and evaluate a bi-lingual physical activity promotion program, applying easy to use state-of-the-art computer technology, which is tailored to the preferences and needs of mid-life and older Latino adults. Such computer-based programs represent a potentially low-cost means for reaching the large proportion of low-income and ethnic minority Americans who are under-active.

Condition Intervention
Health Behavior
Activities of Daily Living
Behavioral: Embodied conversational agent-physical activity program

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Computer-Based Physical Activity Advice for Ethnic Minority Aging Adults

Further study details as provided by Stanford University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) Questionnaire [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • steps per day measured by accelerometry [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • physical activity self-efficacy [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • physical activity decisional balance (measures the relative importance of positive and negative aspects of physical activity) [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Computer Attitude Scale (which assesses users' computer-related confidence, liking, and anxiety) [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Working Alliance Inventory (a 36-item instrument that assesses users' attitudes towards the computerized "advisor") [ Time Frame: 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: November 2008
Study Completion Date: April 2010
Primary Completion Date: April 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

During Phase 1 of this study, the computer program will be adapted to better help Latino older adults to increase physical activity levels. Researchers will conduct focus groups and/or individual interviews to obtain participants feedback used to tailor the program to be appropriate for this population.

During Phase 2, the computer-generated "advisor" program will be tested to see if it is effective in promoting an increase in physical activity (primarily walking) levels among Latino older adults.

Participants will be randomly assigned to use the computer-generated "advisor" or to the wait list control group. Participants in the embodied conversational agent (computer-generated "advisor") group receive an initial session with a staff health educator to review the expectations and content of this walking program. They will learn how to log onto the computer and interact with the computer "advisor" using a touch-screen. Participants will interact with the computer "advisor" at least 3 times per week to report past physical activity (primarily walking) completed, review obstacles (or barriers) to walking, and to set future walking goals. They are also asked to wear a pedometer.

Participants assigned to the wait list will receive an initial session with a staff health educator to review the expectations and content of this program. They will attend a monthly interactive class-based group session lead by a health educator that will cover health-related topics relevant for the older adult such as nutrition, stress management, and brain health. At the end of their involvement with this group they can decide if they want to use the computer advisor program.

Participants of both groups complete physical activity and computer-related questionnaires at the beginning, at 2-months, and at the end of the study (4-months).


Ages Eligible for Study:   55 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:1. Spanish or English-speaking Latino men or women 2. Greater than or equal to 55 years of age 3. No plans to move within the next year 4. Inactive (have not engaged in moderate-intensity or more vigorous physical activity, > 3 days per week for at least 20 min per day) within last 6-months 5. Able to participate in study intervention and assessments at the community-based location 6. Willing to be randomly assigned to either study arm (Year 02)

Exclusion Criteria:1. Any medical condition or disorder that would limit participation in moderate intensity physical activity (such as sustained walking), including life-threatening disorders, myocardial ischemia, and major functional disabilities in the orthopedic area 2. Not stable on their medications, including hormone replacement therapy, for 3 months 3. Severe depressive symptomatology (score > 16 on the 18-item Spanish version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CES-D]); English version used when indicated 4. Gross levels of dementia (score< 23 on the Folstein Mini-Mental State Exam) 5. Inability to complete a face-to-face training session with the embodied conversational agent (ECA) program

  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01144767

United States, California
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California, United States, 94305
Sponsors and Collaborators
Stanford University
Northeastern University
Principal Investigator: Abby C King Stanford University
  More Information

No publications provided by Stanford University

Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Abby C King, Stanford University School of Medicine Identifier: NCT01144767     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SU-04262010-5762, 10894
Study First Received: June 14, 2010
Last Updated: June 18, 2010
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board processed this record on November 20, 2014