Examination of program exposure across intervention delivery modes : face-to-face versus internet
Background: There has been increasing interest in the ability of the internet to produce behaviour change. The focus of this study was to describe program exposure across three intervention groups from a randomised trial (RT) comparing traditional face-to-face, internet mediated(combined internet plus face-to-face), and internet-only program delivery. Methods: Baseline and immediately post-intervention survey data, and exposure rates from participants that commenced the RT were included (n = 192). Exposure was defined as either face-to-face attendance, website usage, or a combination of both for the internet-mediated group.Characteristics of participants who were exposed to at least 75% of the program material were explored. Descriptive analysis and logistical regression were used to examine differences between groups for program exposure. Results: All groups showed decrease in program exposure over time. Differences were also observed (χ2 = 10.37, p < 0.05), between intervention groups. The internet-mediated (OR = 2.4,95% CI 1.13–5.1) and internet-only (OR = 2.96, 95% CI 1.38–6.3) groups were more likely to have been exposed to at least 75% of the program compared to the face-to-face group. Participants with high physical activity self-efficacy were 1.82 (95% CI 1.15–2.88) times more likely to have been exposed to 75% of the program, and those allocated to the face-to-face group were less likely to have attended 75% of the face-to-face sessions if they were classified as obese (OR = 0.21 95% CI0.04–0.96). Conclusion: These results suggest that the internet groups were as effective as the face-to-face delivery mode in engaging participants in the program material. However, different delivery methods may be more useful to different sub-populations. It is important to explore which target groups that internet-based programs are best suited, in order to increase their impact.