Development and Evaluation of a Blended Home-Based Exercise Intervention for Older Adults

Sumit Mehra

Research output: PhD thesisResearch HvA, graduation external

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Aging is associated with a decline in the ability to carry out daily tasks. Physical activity can delay or diminish the decline and increase the ability of older adults to live independently at home. Performing home-based exercises can help older adults achieve the recommended levels of physical activity. Technology allows exercise programs to be tailored to individual needs. This thesis describes a blended intervention that was developed and evaluated according to the Medical Research Council framework. The principal findings are that older adults are motivated to perform technology-supported home-based exercises if they help them maintain self-reliance and there is sufficient guidance, safety is taken into account, and adherence is stimulated. To meet those conditions, a blended intervention was developed that was based on functional exercises, behavior change theory and human guidance. A custom-made tablet application appears to be usable by the target audience. A process evaluation has shown that the tablet as well as the coach support older adults in the various phases of self-regulating their exercise behavior. The blended intervention stimulates intrinsic motivation by supporting the autonomy of participants, fostering competence and, for some, meeting the need for relatedness by offering emotional support. Data derived from the tablet demonstrate that older adults participating in the intervention exhibit exercise behavior that is in line with WHO guidelines and that engagement with the tablet was a contributing factor. Future work should include assessment of intervention fidelity and explore which aspects of coaching can and cannot be further automated.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam, Instituut voor informatica, Faculty of Science
  • Kröse, B.J.A. , Supervisor
  • Weijs, Peter, Supervisor
  • Visser, Bart, Co-supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date19 Apr 2021
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs9789083102719
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2021


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