Menu

Smartphone delivered peer physical activity program for spinal cord injury

Evaluation of the Smartphone Peer Physical Activity Counseling (SPPAC) program on physical activity among manual wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury: a mixed methods pilot study​

Graduate student researchers at the University of British Columbia and the research team at G.F. Strong Rehab Research Lab want to determine the influence of a Smartphone Peer Physical Activity Counseling (SPPAC) program on the level of physical activity in a group of manual wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury (SCI) and explore thoughts and experiences participating in this program.

Why should you participate in this study?

Participating in physical activity, the movement of muscles during everyday activity, has numerous physical and mental health benefits. Meeting physical activity guidelines to attain such health benefits can be challenging, especially for manual wheelchair users with a SCI. Peer lead programs and the use of technology to deliver programming has been shown to improve physical activity levels in participants with a SCI. SPPAC is a unique program that combines these two approaches and could be an effective means for improving levels of physical activity for individuals with a SCI.

If you participate in this study, you will be asked to:

Participate in this physical activity program delivered by a peer through a mobile device over 14 sessions, with each session lasting approximately 30 minutes.

Participate in three data collection time points:

  1. The first data collection session takes place prior to the start of the program and consists of completing a consent form, demographic form, and eight short surveys. A small device called an actigraph will be provided and should be worn over 7 days to measure level of physical activity.
  2. The second data collection session takes place following the completion of the program and consists of completing the same eight short surveys. The actigraph will be provided again and should be worn over 7 days to measure level of physical activity.
  3. The third data collection session will be a focus group discussing thoughts and experiences participating in the program.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you:

  • are between 19 and 64 years of age
  • reside in the Lower Mainland
  • have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury
  • use a manual wheelchair for mobility for one or more months and able to self-propel at least 100 meters
  • currently do not meet physical activity guidelines (which consist of a minimum 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity twice per week and strength training exercises consisting of 3 set of 8-10 repetitions for major muscle groups twice per week)
  • are able to communicate in English
  • are cognitively able to engage in the intervention
  • do not have a degenerative condition that is expected to progress quickly (such as Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy)
  • have not experienced a significant cardiac event in the past three months (such as heart failure, a heart attack, cerebrovascular accident)
  • has been have cleared for physical activity according to the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire for Everyone (PAR-Q+) and the electronic version of the Physical Activity Readiness Medical Examination (ePARmed-X+)

Time commitment: Participants will receive an honorarium for each data collection session completed. The honorarium will be provided to cover the 12 hours of time and any transportation costs from taking part in this study. If required, there will be a pass provided to cover cost of parking while taking part in this study. Participants may participate in the intervention in the comfort of their home. Data collection sessions will however take place at either G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre (4255 Laurel Street, Vancouver) or ICORD. The location will be chosen based on what is most convenient for the participant.

Compensation for participation: there will be an honorarium of $50 for each data collection session.

For more information or to sign up to participate, please contact the study coordinator, Krista Best, by email or phone (604) 714-4108