Effort, perceived effectiveness, and results of an online intervention in college students

Ashley Geller, University of Rhode Island


Objective. To assess process components of Young Adults Eating and Active for Health (YEAH), an online intervention in undergraduate college students to prevent excessive weight gain. ^ Design. This research is a secondary data analysis of YEAH, a randomized controlled trial. YEAH was a 10-week web-based, stage-tailored intervention focused on nutrition, physical activity, and stress management to prevent excessive weight gain in college students. ^ Setting. College students participated in this web-based intervention with web-based assessments. ^ Participants. Students were from 14 universities, aged 18–24 years, body mass index >18.5 kg/m². Participants were randomized into intervention and control groups. Intervention group (n=822) data were analyzed for this study. ^ Main outcome measures. A post evaluation process survey was completed, and ranked how motivating they found different program elements to improve their health. Participants also completed online questionnaires assessing fruit and vegetable consumption, kilocalories from sugar-sweetened beverages, metabolic equivalent minutes per week, perceived stress, and emotional eating. Computer monitoring tracked actual online activity access and viewing. ^ Analysis. Differences in outcomes from baseline to post were assessed by t-test and χ2. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to test for differences across motivation scores and activity access. Significance was set at P<0.05. ^ Results. Eating activities were found most motivating, followed by exercise activities, and then stress activities (P<0.001). Significant increases from baseline to post were found for daily cups fruit and vegetable consumption, perceived stress scores, and MET minutes per week, but were not related to motivation score or access. ^ Conclusions and implications. Motivation score did not appear to relate to behavior outcomes. Results of this process evaluation provide insight into what was evaluated more highly in the college-aged population. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nutrition

Recommended Citation

Ashley Geller, "Effort, perceived effectiveness, and results of an online intervention in college students" (2012). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1508332.