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Arnold School of Public Health


Research

Research is at the heart of the TecHealth activities, with a focus on designing, implementing and evaluating lifestyle interventions to promote good health and reduce risk of disease which feature technology as a central element or to effectively deliver the interventions. Current research projects conducted by the TecHealth team are described below, as well as selected completed projects.

Active Research


College Student Lifestyle Behaviors Survey

The purpose of this study is to look at the physical activity, sedentary behavior (sitting time), eating habits, stress levels, and sleep patterns of undergraduate students at the University of South Carolina. Study participation required completing two surveys focused on typical lifestyle behaviors, one now (at the beginning of the semester) and a second one later in the semester to see whether things might have changed.  

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Take a STAND 4 Health 

Take a STAND 4 Health is a smartphone-based study looking at whether a text message prompting individuals to stand will help them decrease the time they spend sitting and evaluate whether a decrease in sitting time improves blood pressure.

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Sitting Survey

Identifying Beliefs about Sedentary Behavior and Sedentary Reduction 
Program Preferences in Older Adults with Knee Pain or Knee Replacement

The purpose of this study is to examine the beliefs about sedentary behavior and preferences for physical activity or sedentary reduction programs using technology among older adults with knee pain or knee replacement.

Surveys are no longer being administered.

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Fitbit and Social Support Study in Knee Replacement Patients

The purpose of this research study being conducted at the University of South Carolina is to learn more about physical activity levels in patients during the first year after knee replacement.  Specifically, this study is looking at how the use of Fitbits (wrist worn activity monitor) and social support influence physical activity levels after surgery.  If you would like to learn more about this research study, please visit our website.

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iReach3 – Internet Assisted Obesity Treatment Enhanced by Financial Incentives

Our previous research has demonstrated that our online behavioral weight control program consistently produces modest but clinically significant weight losses.  The current study examines whether the addition of financial incentives to the standard online weight control program will substantially increase the weight losses achieved in comparison to the standard online program alone.

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Completed Research


iReach1 – Internet Assisted Obesity Treatment

Behavioral weight control programs are effective in helping overweight and obese individuals lose weight and improve their health.  This study was the first to examine the same behavioral program delivered in-person compared with online; the only aspect in which these programs differed was the channel by which it was delivered.

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iReach2 – Internet Assisted Obesity Treatment Enhanced by Motivational Interviewing

Our earlier study indicated that a group behavioral obesity treatment program delivered totally over the Internet produced clinically significant weight loss among overweight and obese individuals but the average weight losses were lower than those achieved with an in-person version of the same program. This study will compare weight losses achieved with the online group program compared with the same program PLUS individual online Motivational Interviewing (MI) sessions.

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NETworks for Weight Loss

More than two-thirds (69%) of adults in the United States are overweight or obese which is linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and some cancers.  This pilot feasibility study examines whether a behavioral weight control program that engages the natural social support system of participants through the shared use of technology and social media produces better weight loss outcomes than a standard group-based behavioral weight control program alone.

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