Development of a Text Walking Data Bank for Text4Walking

Susan Weber Buchholz, Principal Investigator, Rush University College of Nursing


Obesity and its associated morbidities affect two-thirds of all Americans. Contributing to obesity rates is a lack of physical activity as 80% of Americans do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines. In this low­ physical activity group are many low-income adults who are also likely to be uninsured. However, due to health reform, by 2019 many of them will join the 32 million Americans newly accessing our health care system.

Finding ways to help these patients increase physical activity and decrease or maintain weight, without requiring multiple clinic visits, will be one of the most important aspects of health promotion within health reform. One strategy that is emerging to provide frequent patient contact is text messaging, an available technology to communicate with patients. The method is likely cost-effective and, most important, will not over­ burden clinics. This study will develop physical activity text messages by convening four focus groups (8 individuals/group). The groups will adapt motivational messages that have successfully been used with a self­ efficacy based automated telephone response system, by identifying acceptable text messaging content.

Focus group narratives will be entered into NVivo9 for analysis. A text message list of motivational tips to overcome physical activity barriers will be developed and placed into Text Messaging Data Bank. In a future study we will test the efficacy of this text messaging system in conjunction with nurse counseling sessions, with overweight and obese low-income adults. In the present study the aim is to identify, using focus groups, brief motivational tips to overcome barriers and increase PA to be delivered via mobile text messaging.