Engagement and retention of participants in a physical activity website

Leslie, Eva, Marshall, Alison, Owen, Neville and Bauman, Adrian 2005, Engagement and retention of participants in a physical activity website, Preventive medicine, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 54-59.

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Title Engagement and retention of participants in a physical activity website
Author(s) Leslie, Eva
Marshall, Alison
Owen, Neville
Bauman, Adrian
Journal name Preventive medicine
Volume number 40
Issue number 1
Start page 54
End page 59
Publisher Academic Press
Place of publication San Diego, Calif.
Publication date 2005-01
ISSN 0091-7435
1096-0260
Keyword(s) process evaluation
workplace
internet
health behavior
transtheoretical model
Summary Background: Websites have the potential to deliver enhanced versions of targeted and tailored physical activity programs to large numbers of participants. We describe participant engagement and retention with a stage-based physical activity website in a workplace setting. Methods:  We analyzed data from participants in the website condition of a randomized trial designed to test the efficacy of a print- vs. website-delivered intervention. They received four stage-targeted e-mails over 8 weeks, with hyperlinks to the website. Both objective and self-reported website use data were collected and analyzed. Results: Overall, 327 were randomized to the website condition and 250 (76%) completed the follow-up survey. Forty-six percent (n = 152) visited the website over the trial period. A total of 4,114 hits to the website were recorded. Participants who entered the site spent on average 9 min per visit and viewed 18 pages. Website use declined over time; 77% of all visits followed the first e-mail. Conclusions: Limited website engagement, despite the perceived usefulness of the materials, demonstrates possible constraints on the use of e-mails and websites in delivering health behavior change programs. In the often-cluttered information environment of workplaces, issues of engagement and retention in website-delivered programs require attention.
Language eng
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, The Institute For Cancer Prevention and Elsevier Inc.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30004103

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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