RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) evaluation of the use of activity trackers in the clinical care of adults diagnosed with a chronic disease: integrative systematic review

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Abstract

Background
Chronic diseases are a leading cause of adult mortality, accounting for 41 million deaths globally each year. Low levels of physical activity and sedentary behavior are major risk factors for adults to develop a chronic disease. Physical activity interventions can help support patients in clinical care to be more active. Commercial activity trackers that can measure daily steps, physical activity intensity, sedentary behavior, and distance moved are being more frequently used within health-related interventions. The RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance) framework is a planning and evaluation approach to explore the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of interventions.

Objective
The objective of this study is to conduct an integrative systematic review and report the 5 main RE-AIM dimensions in interventions that used activity trackers in clinical care to improve physical activity or reduce sedentary behavior in adults diagnosed with chronic diseases.

Methods
A search strategy and study protocol were developed and registered on the PROSPERO platform. Inclusion criteria included adults (18 years and older) diagnosed with a chronic disease and have used an activity tracker within their clinical care. Searches of 10 databases and gray literature were conducted, and qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies were included. Screening was undertaken by more than 1 researcher to reduce the risk of bias. After screening, the final studies were analyzed using a RE-AIM framework data extraction evaluation tool. This tool assisted in identifying the 28 RE-AIM indicators within the studies and linked them to the 5 main RE-AIM dimensions.

Results
The initial search identified 4585 potential studies. After a title and abstract review followed by full-text screening, 15 studies were identified for data extraction. The analysis of the extracted data found that the RE-AIM dimensions of adoption (n=1, 7% of studies) and maintenance (n=2, 13% of studies) were underreported. The use of qualitative thematic analysis to understand the individual RE-AIM dimensions was also underreported and only used in 3 of the studies. Two studies used qualitative analysis to explore the effectiveness of the project, while 1 study used thematic analysis to understand the implementation of an intervention.

Conclusions
Further research is required in the use of activity trackers to support patients to lead a more active lifestyle. Such studies should consider using the RE-AIM framework at the planning stage with a greater focus on the dimensions of adoption and maintenance and using qualitative methods to understand the main RE-AIM dimensions within their design. These results should form the basis for establishing long-term interventions in clinical care.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere44919
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume25
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • activity trackers
  • clinical care
  • physical activity
  • sedentary behaviour
  • adults
  • chronic diseases
  • RE-AIM
  • mortality
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • intervention
  • mobile phone

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