A web-based lifestyle intervention program for Chinese college students: Study protocol and baseline characteristics of a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Wei Liang, Yanping DUAN*, Bo Rui Shang, Yan Ping Wang, Chun Hu, Sonia Lippke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to describe the design and present the baseline characteristics of a web-based lifestyle intervention program, which comprises of sequentially and simultaneously delivered intervention modules targeting physical activity (PA) and fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC) in Chinese college students. Methods: The study adopted a randomized placebo-controlled trial, using the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) and the Compensatory Carry-Over Action Model (CCAM) as the theoretical backdrops. 556 Chinese college students participated in the 8-week web-based lifestyle intervention program. All eligible participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: 1) the PA-first arm which received a 4-week intervention addressing PA followed by a 4-week intervention addressing FVC; 2) the FVC-first arm which received a 4-week intervention addressing FVC followed by a 4-week intervention addressing PA; 3) the PA + FVC simultaneous arm that received an 8-week intervention addressing both PA and FVC at the same time; and 4) the placebo-control arm that received 8 weeks of general health information, which is not relevant for changing actual PA and FVC behaviors. Data collection includes four time-points: At the beginning and end of the intervention, and a 3-month and 12-month follow-up after the intervention. Results: At baseline, 41.7% of participants were male and 58.3% were female. 41.0% of the participants did not meet the standard PA-recommendations, while 69.6% did not adhere to the standard FVC-recommendations. In total, only 19.6% of participants met both PA and FVC recommendations. Baseline characteristics across the four groups had no significant differences (all P =.17-.99), indicating successful randomization. Conclusions: The preliminary results indicate a high prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles in college students in China, which further supports the need for web-based health intervention programs. This is also the first study that examines the comparative effectiveness of simultaneously and sequentially delivered lifestyle interventions in the Chinese population. These findings may contribute to the creation of future web-based health behavior change interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1097
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • College students
  • eHealth
  • Healthy diet
  • Lifestyle
  • Physical activity

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