Background: Lifestyle-related health problems is an important health concern in the transport service industry. Web- and telephone-based interventions could be suitable for this target group requiring tailored approaches.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of tailored web-based health feedback and optional telephone coaching with respect to improved lifestyle factors (Body Mass Index [BMI], dietary intake, physical activity, stress, sleep, tobacco- and alcohol consumption, disease history, self-perceived health, and motivation to change health habits), in comparison to no health feedback or telephone coaching.
Methods: 3,876 employees in the Swedish transport services were e-mailed a web-based questionnaire. They were randomized to either: A) control group (498 out of 1,238 answered, 40.2%) or B) intervention web (482 out of 1,305 answered, 36.9%), or C) intervention web+telephone (493 out of 1,333 answered, 37.0%). All groups received an identical questionnaire, only the interventions differed. Group B received tailored web-based health feedback and group C received tailored web-based health feedback + optional telephone coaching if the participants’ reported health habits did not meet the national guidelines, or if they expressed motivation to change health habits. The web-based feedback was fully automated. Telephone coaching was performed by trained health counsellors. Nine months later, all participants received a follow-up questionnaire and intervention web+telephone. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, analysis of variance, and generalized estimation equations (GEE) models were employed.
Results: 981 out of 1,473 (66.6%) employees participated at baseline (men: 66.7%, mean age: 44 years, mean BMI: 26.4 kg/m2) and at follow-up. No significant differences were found in reported health habits between the three groups over time. However, significant changes were found for motivation to change. The intervention groups reported higher motivation to improve dietary habits (n=144 out of 301 participants [47.8%] and n=165 out of 324 participants [50.9%] for B and C, respectively) and physical activity habits (n=181 out of 301 participants [60.1%] and n=207 out of 324 participants [63.9%] for B and C, respectively) compared to the control group A (n=122 out of 356 participants [34.3%] for diet and n=177 out of 356 participants [49.7%] for physical activity). At follow-up, the intervention groups had significantly decreased their motivation (group B: P<.001 for change in diet; P<.001 for change in physical activity; group C: P=.007 for change in diet; P<.001 for change in physical activity), whereas the control group reported significantly increased motivation to change diet and physical activity (P<.001 for change in diet; P<.001 for change in physical activity). © Madeleine Solenhill, Alessandra Grotta, Elena Pasquali, Linda Bakkman, Rino Bellocco, Ylva Trolle Lagerros.
Conclusions: Tailored web-based health feedback and the offering of optional telephone coaching did not have a positive health effect on employees in the transport services. However, our findings suggest an increased short-term motivation to change health behaviors related to diet and physical activity among those receiving tailored web-based health feedback.
Toronto, ON: JMIR , 2016. Vol. 18, no 8, e158
diet, exercise, Internet, intervention studies, lifestyle, motivation, occupational health, questionnaires, randomized
Funding: Swedish Transport Administration, the Erik and Edith Fernström’s foundation, Sven and Dagmar Saléns foundation, and the regional agreement on medical training and clinical research between Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.