Effectiveness of a web-based computer-tailored intervention promoting physical activity for adults from Quebec City: a randomized controlled trial

Francois Boudreau*, Gilles R. Dagenais, Hein de Vries, Michel Jean Louis Walthouwer, Jose Cote, Ginette Turbide, Anne-Sophie Bourlaud, Paul Poirier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Background: The primary objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a 3-month web-based computer-tailored intervention on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in adults.

Methods: A total of 242 Canadian adults aged between 35 and 70 years were randomized to an experimental group receiving the intervention or a waiting list control group. The fully automated web-based computer-tailored physical activity intervention consists of seven 10- to 15-min sessions over an 8-week period. The theoretical underpinning of the intervention is based on the I-Change Model.

Results: A repeated-measures ANOVA using a linear mixed model showed a significant 'group-by-time' interaction favoring the intervention group in self-reported MVPA (p = .02). The MVPA was similar in both groups at baseline (mean +/- SD; 176 +/- 13 vs. 172 +/- 15 min/week, p = .72) and higher in the intervention than in the control group at a 3-month follow-up (259 +/- 21 vs. 201 +/- 22 min/week, p = .04). This finding was comparable across women and men (group-by-sex, p = .57) and across participants meeting or not physical activity guidelines at baseline (group-by-baseline physical activity, p = .43). Although engagement to the web-based sessions declined over time, participants completing more web sessions achieved higher self-reported MVPA (p <.05).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that this intervention is effective in enhancing self-reported MVPA in this adult population in the short term; however, this needs to be confirmed in a larger trial with better engagement to the web-based sessions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-622
Number of pages22
JournalHealth Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Physical activity
  • web-based
  • computer tailoring
  • adults
  • RISK

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