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Clinical Trial Summary

The purpose of the study is to test an intervention that uses a mobile game to encourage increased physical activity among adults.

Clinical Trial Description

Physical activity reduces cardiometabolic risk factors. Unfortunately, a majority of adults do not meet activity recommendations. Though walking is a preferred method for activity with proven effectiveness, motivating sustained adherence to activity goals is difficult. "Gamification" using technology-based tools holds promise for motivating increased adherence to physical activity goals. Gamification occurs when elements from video games (such as leaderboards, badges, and progression through a virtual narrative) are integrated into non-game applications. Game elements may motivate faster, longer, and/or more frequent walking by making walking and self-monitoring more enjoyable. In the proposed research the investigators seek to test the feasibility and acceptability of a technology-based intervention that "gamifies" physical activity using technology. The investigators will randomize 40 inactive overweight adults (20 women, aged 18 - 69) to either an intervention group or a wait-list control. (Note: 10 additional participants will be recruited for a pre-pilot one-arm test of the intervention to ensure that the mobile devices, cellular service, game, etc. are working correctly.) The intervention will consist primarily of provision of a mobile device loaded with a narrative-based walking application ("app"). Participants will be instructed to use the app to achieve activity goals increasing from 60 to 150 or more minutes per week. The app uses global positioning systems and accelerometry to track exercise duration and intensity. Investigators will call participants weekly for brief counseling and technical support. The intervention will last 12 weeks. Primary outcomes are process measures of feasibility and acceptability, including attrition, reasons for drop-out, adherence to use of the app, exposure to calls, and any adverse events. The investigators will also compare behavioral (physical activity), weight-related (weight, body composition), and health outcomes (fitness, blood pressure) in the intervention group to the wait-list control. Finally, theory-based intermediate variables, such as self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and self-regulation, will also be investigated. This study will provide crucial information regarding the promise of gamified apps and will lay a foundation for a larger research program in technology-based cardiovascular health promotion. ;

Study Design

Related Conditions & MeSH terms

NCT number NCT01953224
Study type Interventional
Source The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
Status Completed
Phase N/A
Start date September 2014
Completion date November 2016

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