The authors declare they have no competing interests.
CV is project leader and conceptualised the project. CV, CS, MD, RP and WKM are named investigators on and contributed to the NHMRC Project Grant Application that secured the funding for this study. CH and DC are project staff that have had large involvement in developing the procedures for this study and are involved in data collection. AR, SS and SA are involved with database management, data cleaning and statistical analyses. All authors have contributed intervention and content development; all authors contributed and to writing this manuscript and approved its final version.
Physical inactivity levels are unacceptably high and effective interventions that can increase physical activity in large populations at low cost are urgently needed. Web-based interventions that use computer-tailoring have shown to be effective, though people tend to ‘skim’ and ‘scan’ text on the Internet rather than thoroughly read it. The use of online videos is, however, popular and engaging. Therefore, the aim of this 3-group randomised controlled trial is to examine whether a web-based physical activity intervention that provides personally-tailored videos is more effective when compared with traditional personally-tailored text-based intervention and a control group.
In total 510 Australians will be recruited through social media advertisements, e-mail and third party databases. Participants will be randomised to one of three groups: text-tailored, video-tailored, or control. All groups will gain access to the same web-based platform and a library containing brief physical activity articles. The text-tailored group will additionally have access to 8 sessions of personalised physical activity advice that is instantaneously generated based on responses to brief online surveys. The theory-based advice will be provided over a period of 3 months and address constructs such as self-efficacy, motivation, goal setting, intentions, social support, attitudes, barriers, outcome expectancies, relapse prevention and feedback on performance. Text-tailored participants will also be able to complete 7 action plans to help them plan what, when, where, who with, and how they will become more active. Participants in the video-tailored group will gain access to the same intervention content as those in the text-tailored group, however all sessions will be provided as personalised videos rather than text on a webpage. The control group will only gain access to the library with generic physical activity articles. The primary outcome is objectively measured physical activity. Secondary outcomes include website engagement and retention, quality of life, depression, anxiety, stress, sitting time, sleep and psychosocial correlates of physical activity. Outcomes will be measured at baseline, 3, and 9 months.
This study presents an ideal opportunity to study the effectiveness of an isolated feature within a web-based physical activity intervention and the knowledge generated from this study will help to increase intervention effectiveness.
Australian New-Zealand Clinical Trial Registry: ACTRN12615000057583. Registered 22 January 2015.
CQUniversity Ethics Project Number: H14/07-163