A blended face-to-face and eHealth lifestyle intervention on physical activity, diet, and health outcomes in Hong Kong community-dwelling older adults: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Front Public Health. 2024 May 7:12:1360037. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2024.1360037. eCollection 2024.


Background: Aging individuals are vulnerable to various Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). Different behaviors are closely related to a decreased risk of suffering from NCDs: sufficient Physical Activity (PA) (e.g., at least 150 mins Moderate-to-vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) per week) and a healthy daily diet (e.g., at least five portions of Fruit and Vegetable Intake (FVI), 5-6 taels (189.0-226.8 g) Meat, Fish, Egg and Alternatives (MFEA)). Traditional face-to-face interventions were effective in behavior change. However, it was revealed to be resource-intensive and limited transfer due to poor self-regulation skills outside of face-to-face sessions. Thus, eHealth could be a supplement for older adults outside traditional face-to-face settings. The blended approach combining these two interventions might optimize the intervention effects on lifestyle behavior initiation and maintenance, but little research can be found among Hong Kong older adults. Therefore, the study aims to test a blended intervention to promote PA, diet, and health outcomes among Hong Kong community-dwelling older adults.

Methods: This study will adopt a 10-week three-arm randomized controlled trial. The blended group will receive weekly (1) two 60-min face-to-face sessions with one for PA and one for diet, and (2) two web-based sessions with one for PA and one for diet. The face-to-face group will receive the same intervention content as the face-to-face sessions in the blended group. The control condition will receive a biweekly telephone call. The outcomes will include MVPA (minutes/week), FVI (portions/day), MFEA consumption (taels/day), social-cognitive factors (self-efficacy, planning, social support, action control), physical health outcomes (clinical indicators, senior physical fitness), mental health outcomes (depression, loneliness) and health-related quality of life. Data collection will be implemented at the pre-test, post-test, and 3-month follow-up test.

Discussion: This is the first study evaluating a blended intervention promoting multiple health behaviors among Hong Kong community-dwelling older adults. If the effect of the blended intervention is superior to the traditional face-to-face group and the control group, it will enrich lifestyle intervention approaches and can be applied to older adults, helping them obtain health benefits. Furthermore, a better understanding of mechanisms will also have implications for theory-building.

Clinical trial registration: https://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN32329348, ISRCTN32329348.

Keywords: blended intervention; diet; health outcomes; older adults; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diet
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Independent Living*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Telemedicine*

Grants and funding

The author(s) declare that no financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.