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Older adults as designers of behavior change strategies to increase physical activity: report of a participatory design process
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Section of Occupational Therapy.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Section of Physiotherapy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4781-862X
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8430-4241
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Section of Physiotherapy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5147-9715
2022 (English)In: Frontiers In Public Health, ISSN 2296-2565, Vol. 10, article id 988470Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Despite the significant value of physical activity for the health of older adults, this population often fails to achieve recommended activity levels. Digital interventions show promise in providing support for self-managed physical activity. However, more information is needed about older adults' preferences for digital support to change physical activity behaviors as well as the process of designing them. The aim of this paper was to describe the participatory design process in which older adults were involved in the co-creation of digitally supported behavioral change strategies to support self-managed physical activity, and how the results were integrated in a prototype.

Methods: The participatory design process involved with nine older adults and two researchers. The participants were divided in two groups, and each group participated in three workshops and completed home tasks in between workshops. Following an iterative design process influenced by theories of behavior change, the workshops and home tasks were continuously analyzed, and the content and process were developed between groups and the next set of workshops. Prototypes of a mobile health (mHealth) solution for fall preventive exercise for older adults were developed in which the conceptualized strategies were integrated. To support coherence in reporting and evaluation, the developed techniques were mapped to the Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy v1 and the basic human psychosocial needs according to the Self-determination Theory.

Results: The results highlight different preferences of older adults for feedback on physical activity performance, as well as the importance of transparency regarding the identification of the sender of feedback. Preferences for content and wording of feedback varied greatly. Subsequently, the design process resulted in a virtual health coach with three different motivational profiles and tools for goal setting and self-monitoring. These behavior change strategies were integrated in the exercise application Safe Step v1. The conformity of the design concepts with the needs of Self-determination Theory and Behavior Change Technique Taxonomy v1 are presented.

Conclusion: The participatory design process exemplifies how older adults successfully contributed to the design of theory-based digital behavior change support, from idea to finished solution. Tailoring feedback with a transparent sender is important to support and not undermine motivation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2022. Vol. 10, article id 988470
Keywords [en]
behavior change, co-creation, digital technology, mHealth, motivation, participatory design
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-202585DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.988470ISI: 000910855400001PubMedID: 36620266Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85145500489OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-202585DiVA, id: diva2:1725910
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 521–2011-3250Swedish Research Council, 2015-03481Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and WelfareAvailable from: 2023-01-12 Created: 2023-01-12 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Janols, RebeckaSandlund, MarleneLindgren, HelenaPettersson, Beatrice

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