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Promoting healthy lifestyles in developing countries using e- & mHealth: An example from multi-ethnic Malaysia Seminar

15:00 - 16:00
11 April 2017
Building 44 (Shackleton), Room 3095

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology Seminar Series



Developing countries are currently facing a double burden of disease: hygiene and sanitation are still pressing issues that cause infectious diseases in a number of low- and middle-income countries. However, due to the increased availability and consumption of processed foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar, and the decreased necessity of physical activity (e.g., physical labour) a growing number of developing countries have now to address the widespread occurrence of non-communicable diseases.

Promoting healthy lifestyles (e.g., eating healthily and being active) is therefore becoming an important health-care agenda in developing countries. Due to the growing access to modern ICT in many developing countries one promising way of delivering interventions that support health behaviours is via e- & mHealth approaches.

A 24-week stratified randomised-controlled trial examining the effects of motivational text-messaging to support exercise adherence in older adults was conducted in multi-ethnic Malaysia. The text messages were effective in promoting exercise, however, exercise participation decreased once the text messages ceased. Semi-structured interviews provided some insights as to how the text messages and their later absence impacted exercise behaviour of the participants.

During this seminar, I will introduce the study and present its results. I will conclude my presentation by discussing the use of e- & mHealth to promote healthy living in developing countries.


Speaker information

Dr Andre Matthias Müller,Dr Müller is interested in behavioural e- & mHealth research particularly focusing on physical activity. From 2013 to 2016 he carried out the first mHealth study that targeted exercise behaviour in older adults in the developing world (Malaysia). The goal was to examine if simple text messages were effective in encouraging older Malaysians to exercise. Additionally, he wanted to know if the text-messaging effects were maintained when the messages were removed. Currently, he is working with the LifeGuide team and they are developing, implementing and evaluating various internet interventions targeting health-related outcomes in different populations. Besides that he is a committee member of the special interest group on behavioural e- & mHealth affiliated to the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

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