Effects of remote feedback in home-based physical activity interventions for older adults: a systematic review

Patient Educ Couns. 2013 Apr;91(1):14-24. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.10.018. Epub 2012 Nov 26.


Objective: To evaluate the literature on effectiveness of remote feedback on physical activity and capacity in home-based physical activity interventions for older adults with or without medical conditions. In addition, the effect of remote feedback on adherence was inventoried.

Methods: A systematic review. Data sources included PubMed, PsycInfo, Cochrane and EMBASE. A best-evidence synthesis was used for qualitative summarizing of results.

Results: Twenty-four studies met the inclusion criteria for systematic effectiveness evaluation and 22 for adherence inventory. Three categories of contact were identified: frequent, non-frequent, and direct remote contact during exercising. Evidence for positive enhancement of physical activity or capacity varied from conflicting in frequent contact strategies (16 studies) to strong in non-frequent (5 studies) and direct contact strategies (3 studies). Adherence rates in intervention groups were similar or higher than treatment-as-usual or exercise control groups.

Conclusion: Results imply with varying strength that interventions using frequent, non-frequent or direct remote feedback seem more effective than treatment as usual and equally effective as supervised exercise interventions. Direct remote contact seems a particularly good alternative to supervised onsite exercising.

Practice implications: Remote feedback is promising in an older population getting increasingly used to new technology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Feedback*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Residence Characteristics*