All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

C Scott Bickel

Advisory Committee Members

Beth Barstow

Brooks Wingo

Kristi Menear

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Health Professions

Abstract

Exercise is recognized as a method of improving health and function and preventing deconditioning for adults with neurological disabilities. However, they experience a multitude of barriers that prevent them from regular participation in exercise. To address these barriers, the goal of this dissertation was to explore the use of monitoring technology as a means for delivering exercise to adults with neurological disabilities at home. This pursuit involved three studies. The first study reviewed the extant literature for current trends in exercise interventions for people with disabilities. Regarding technology, the review indicated that technology is rarely used to deliver one-on-on supervised exercise sessions. Instead, technology was often used to promote self-regulated exercise behavior. The second feasibility study indicated that people with spinal cord injury demonstrated strong adherence and noted positive perceptions of completing a supervised internet-based exercise intervention. The third pilot study demonstrated that people with Parkinson’s disease, who received supervised internet-based exercise, showed stronger adherence and exercise confidence than people with PD who only received the technology. From these studies, we concluded that exercise professionals can utilize technology to supplement traditional exercise programs to overcome several barriers that people with neurologic disabilities experience towards exercise. Additionally, we found that information communication technology can be used to monitor exercise sessions and link participants with fitness experts at the home. In turn, this method can enhance the prescriptive quality of home-based Internet exercise programs; promote high rates of adherence and exercise confidence; and is perceived as an acceptable and often more favorable alternative to exercise at a fitness facility.

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