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Behavioral Economics | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health and Medical Administration | Health Communication | Health Services Research | Human and Clinical Nutrition | Medical Education | Nursing | Public Health Education and Promotion


Mary Stenson, Exercise Science and Sport Studies


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether an in-person or technology based bone health intervention improved bone health knowledge and behaviors in college-aged women. Methods: 30 college-aged women were randomly divided into three groups: personal intervention (n = 10), technological intervention (n = 10), and control (n = 10). Both intervention groups received identical information regarding the importance of bone health and the appropriate behaviors for maintaining strong bones including weight-bearing exercise, calcium consumption, and vitamin D consumption. The technology group received the information via an online video, and the personal group via a one-on-one health intervention. Changes in bone health knowledge and behavior were measured via questionnaires designed to address specific topics from the intervention. Knowledge was measured immediately before and after the intervention. Behaviors were measured before the intervention and one-month post-intervention. Bone health behaviors were categorized into changes in exercise frequency, exercise duration, food frequency, and food quantity. Results: A significant interaction was found between time and group for knowledge (F (2,27) = 13.5; p p =0.022). The change in knowledge between the technology and personal group was not significantly different (p =0.19). There was no significant difference between groups for change in food frequency behavior (F (2, 27) = 2.10; p =0.14), food quantity behavior (F (2, 27) = 1.52; p =0.24), exercise duration behavior (F (2, 27) = 3.16; p =0.059), or exercise frequency behavior (F (2, 27) = 2.51; p =0.1). Conclusions: The personal intervention experienced greater gains in knowledge than the control group, yet neither the in-person nor the technology intervention was effective at encouraging positive behavior changes. Any potential gain in knowledge from the intervention did not lead to a corresponding significant change in behavior.