Background: Physical activity can aid people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in managing symptoms and maintaining functional abilities. The Internet is a preferred source of physical activity information for people with MS and, therefore, a method for the dissemination of behavior change techniques. The purpose of this study was to examine the coverage and quality of physical activity behavior change techniques delivered on the Internet for adults with MS using Abraham and Michie's taxonomy of behavior change techniques.
Methods: Using the taxonomy, 20 websites were coded for quality (ie, accuracy of information) and coverage (ie, completeness of information) of theoretical behavior change techniques.
Results: Results indicated that most websites covered a mean of 8.05 (SD = 3.86, range 3–16) techniques out of a possible 20. Only one of the techniques, provide information on behavior-health link and consequences, was delivered on all websites. The websites demonstrated low mean coverage and quality across all behavior change techniques, with means of 0.64 (SD = 0.67) and 0.62 (SD = 0.37), respectively. However, coverage and quality improved when websites were examined solely on the techniques that they covered, as opposed to all 20 techniques.
Conclusions: This study was the first to examine quality and coverage of physical activity behavior change techniques used online for people with MS, and it illustrated that the dissemination of these techniques requires improvement.
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Published Online: October 10, 2014