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Open Access mHealth Text Messaging for Physical Activity Promotion in College Students: A Formative Participatory Approach

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Objectives: To develop mobile-based physical activity promotion text messages, understand users' preferences, and assess feasibility and acceptability in a college student sample. Methods: Five focus groups (N = 33) were conducted using a participatory approach. An Audience Response System was adopted for data collection to ensure confidentiality and for directing the discussion foci. A framework analysis of transcribed focus group discussions was conducted. Atlas. ti qualitative analysis software was used to manage the data. Results: Participants were uniformly enthusiastic about a text message-based intervention to encourage regular physical activity. They also preferred positive, supportive personally tailored messages. Participants placed a high value on messages related to establishing and monitoring realistic and achievable goals. Conclusions: mHealth text messaging was well received. The results support the feasibility and acceptance of such an intervention.

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Keywords: COLLEGE STUDENTS; MHEALTH; PARTICIPATORY APPROACH; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; TEXT MESSAGING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA. [email protected] 2: College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA 3: Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo-The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA 4: Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA 5: Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD, USA 6: Department of Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA 7: University Recreation, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Publication date: 2015-05-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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