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Title: The development and feasibility testing of a virtual health trainer in the promotion of physical activity in people with Type 2 diabetes living in remote and/or rural areas
Author: Connelly, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 5829
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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The purpose of this thesis was to aid in the development of a web-based physical activity intervention for people with type 2 diabetes living in remote and rural areas. Chapter 1 introduces the research area, the design of the thesis and the key research questions. The thesis is then made up of 5 key studies. Study one, a systematic review of the literature was conducted and reported in chapter 2. This review identified the technologies that have previously been used to promote physical activity in type 2 diabetes, it identified the methodological quality of each included technology and the key components for effective change. Web based technology was the most commonly used and the most effective in increasing physical activity using components such as goal setting and physical activity trackers. These results informed study 2 (chapter 3) which explored patient and health professional's views on diabetes, physical activity and use of the internet. The need for clear information was identified with regard to diabetes as well as the call for accurate physical activity advice in relation to diabetes for both patients and health professionals. Study 3 (chapter 4) explored key information and components for an effective website. Included features were the need for a personalised approach; detailed advice on how the body responds to physical activity; a physical activity tracker and goal setting. The need for a 'virtual trainer' for support, advice and help with goal setting and interactive maps showing physical activity opportunities were all deemed important. The fourth study, chapter 5 described the design of the website and its features as well as the protocol for a six month pilot randomised controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of the development website, with and without interactive design elements. The final study in this thesis (chapter 6), describes the physical activity, physiological and biochemical results from a randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the website and its features. The final chapter summarises the findings in response to the research questions and the future recommendations based on the outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Lifescan Scotland Ltd ; NHS Highland Diabetes Research
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Virtual reality in medicine ; Diabetes ; Exercise ; Physical fitness ; Type 2 diabetes