Can a cell phone app help women reduce their osteoporosis risk?

April 10, 2014 College News - Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.  Research shows that women can improve their bone health by having good nutrition, improving their balance, and regularly doing exercises that result in stronger bones, yet very few women regularly eat nutritious meals and do the types of activities that build bone. Much more needs to be learned about how to help people make and maintain health behavior change.

Despite forty years of study, changing health behaviors is a poorly understood process. Limited success has been achieved and a wide gap remains between recommended and actual health behaviors. This gap has significant consequences for individuals and society. 

In an NIH-funded, collaborative study called Striving to be Strong, a group of researchers and clinicians from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, and the Medical College of Wisconsin are developing and testing a cell phone app to help women make lifestyle changes and engage in healthy behaviors that support bone health.  Participants will receive information matched to their individual characteristics, then guided through a process of change. The process includes individualized goal setting, development of a personalized plan, tracking key behaviors, frequent feedback, trained reflection, evaluation, and decision-making.

Researchers are seeking healthy, English-speaking women between the ages of 40-60.  Approximately 300 volunteers will be randomly assigned to one of three study groups. If eligible, and if study requirements are fulfilled, participants will receive an iPhone 5S study phone with a phone plan or women will be compensated $50.00 per month for using their own iPhone (4S or newer). 

We are beginning screening to determine eligibility.  If you are interested, please contact a member of the Striving to be Strong team, (414) 229-3169 or striving@mscs.mu.edu, or find us on the web at http://striving.cloudapp.net.

Striving to be Strong flyer (PDF)

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