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Older adults’ experiences of using a wearable activity tracker with health professional feedback over a 12-month randomised controlled trial

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Brickwood, K-J, Williams, AD ORCID: 0000-0001-8863-3491, Watson, G ORCID: 0000-0002-3438-0203 and O'Brien, J ORCID: 0000-0002-6504-8422 2020 , 'Older adults’ experiences of using a wearable activity tracker with health professional feedback over a 12-month randomised controlled trial' , Digital Health, vol. 6 , pp. 1-13 , doi: 10.1177/2055207620921678.

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Abstract

Objective:Wearable activity trackers can help older adults remain physically active. However, knowledge of the userexperience during long-term use is scarce. Therefore, this study examined older adults’ experiences with, and perceptionsof, wearable activity trackers combined with health professional feedback after a year’s use as part of a randomisedcontrolled trial.Methods: Twenty older adults (73.6 5.5 years) who had used a Jawbone UP24 activity tracker for 12 months during arandomised controlled trial were recruited for this study. All participants had at least one chronic condition. Acceptabilitydata relating to activity tracker wear time was combined with focus group data to explore participants experiences of longterm activity tracker use. Data was analysed using thematic analysis.Results: The activity tracker was well-accepted with the device worn on an average of 86% of possible days and participantsreported an overall positive experience. Four themes were identified: (a) increased sense of awareness of activity levels isrelated to motivation; (b) the level of engagement with the activity tracker influences the user experience; (c) the role offeedback from a health professional in providing ongoing support; d) the role of habits in supporting long-term behaviourchange.Conclusions: The use of an activity tracker combined with health professional support can assist older adults to maintaintheir activity levels over 12 months. Consideration should be given to the previous technology experience of users and thedesign and accuracy of an activity tracker when recommending their use in a research or clinical setting.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Brickwood, K-J and Williams, AD and Watson, G and O'Brien, J
Keywords: physical activity, wearables, telemedicine, older adults
Journal or Publication Title: Digital Health
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN: 2055-2076
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/2055207620921678
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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