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Are web-based personally tailored physical activity videos more effective than personally tailored text-based interventions? Results from the three-arm randomised controlled TaylorActive trial
  1. Corneel Vandelanotte1,
  2. Camille E Short2,
  3. Ronald C Plotnikoff3,
  4. Amanda Rebar1,
  5. Stephanie Alley1,
  6. Stephanie Schoeppe1,
  7. Doreen F Canoy1,
  8. Cindy Hooker1,
  9. Deborah Power1,
  10. Christopher Oldmeadow4,
  11. Lucy Leigh4,
  12. Quyen To1,
  13. W Kerry Mummery5,
  14. Mitch J Duncan3
  1. 1 Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Education, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4 Hunter Medical Research Institute, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5 Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Corneel Vandelanotte, Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, QL 4703, Australia; c.vandelanotte{at}


Objectives Some online, personally tailored, text-based physical activity interventions have proven effective. However, people tend to ‘skim’ and ‘scan’ web-based text rather than thoroughly read their contents. In contrast, online videos are more engaging and popular. We examined whether web-based personally tailored physical activity videos were more effective in promoting physical activity than personally tailored text and generic information.

Methods 501 adults were randomised into a video-tailored intervention, text-tailored intervention or control. Over a 3-month period, intervention groups received access to eight sessions of web-based personally tailored physical activity advice. Only the delivery method differed between intervention groups: tailored video versus tailored text. The primary outcome was 7-day ActiGraph-GT3X+ measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) assessed at 0, 3 and 9 months. Secondary outcomes included self-reported MVPA and website engagement. Differences were examined using generalised linear mixed models with intention-to-treat and multiple imputation.

Results Accelerometer-assessed MVPA increased 23% in the control (1.23 (1.06, 1.43)), 12% in the text-tailored (1.12 (0.95, 1.32)) and 28% in the video-tailored (1.28 (1.06, 1.53)) groups at the 3-month follow-up only, though there were no significant between-group differences. Both text-tailored (1.77 (1.37, 2.28]) and video-tailored (1.37 (1.04, 1.79)) groups significantly increased self-reported MVPA more than the control group at 3 months only, but there were no differences between video-tailored and text-tailored groups. The video-tailored group spent significantly more time on the website compared with text-tailored participants (90 vs 77 min, p=0.02).

Conclusions The personally tailored videos were not more effective than personally tailored text in increasing MVPA. The findings from this study conflict with pilot study outcomes and previous literature. Process evaluation and mediation analyses will provide further insights.

Trial registration number ACTRN12615000057583

  • physical activity
  • intervention efficacy
  • randomised controlled trial
  • behaviour
  • accelerometer

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. A typographical error in the title has been corrected.

  • Contributors CV, CES, RCP, WKM and MJD conceived the project and procured the project funding. CV led the coordination of the trial. CV, CES, RCP, AR, SA, SS, WKM and MJD assisted with the protocol design. CH managed the trial including data collection with data management from DP. CV, CES and DFC developed intervention content for the trial and MJD performed the sample size calculations. LL and CO conducted the analysis for this paper. CV, MJD and QT interpreted the data. CV drafted the manuscript, and all authors read, edited and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This trial was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (1049369). MJD (100029) and CV (100427) were, and SA (102609) and SS (101240) are supported by a fellowship from the National Heart Foundation of Australia. CES (1090517), RCP (1100138) and AR (1105926) were, and MJD (1141606) and SS (1125586) are supported by a Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

  • Disclaimer The funder did not have any role in the study other than to provide funding.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval for the TaylorActive trial was granted by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Central Queensland University (reference number: H14/07-163).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. The data set supporting the conclusions of this article will not be shared at present as it is still being used for analysis of other outcomes of the TaylorActive randomised controlled trial. However, any reasonable request to access the data will be considered and must be made to Corneel Vandelanotte:

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