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.