Unlocking the Potential of mHealth Technologies to Promote Behavioral Health and Active Aging in Czech Older Adults
Project Period: 11/2016 – 9/2019
Investor: Jihomoravský kraj
Project Type: SoMoPro
Principal Investigator: Steriani Elavsky, Ph.D.
There are over 3,8 mil individuals aged 50 years and older living in the Czech Republic and those aged 65 years and older make up 16% of the Czech population, numbers that are projected to grow exponentially. Although Czech older adults are living longer than ever before, they do not live healthy lives. The prevalence of chronic conditions, functional limitations and disability increases with age, with adverse consequences for overall health and quality of life (QOL). Lifestyle is a key determinant of health and QOL as we age, but only a small proportion of the Czech seniors live a healthy lifestyle characterized by sufficient amount of physical activity, low levels of sedentary behavior, and good quality/sufficient sleep. Although effective intervention strategies exist to improve these behavioral indicators in older adults, traditional intervention (face-to-face) approaches require substantial resources and have limited public health impact. Advances in digital technology have opened up opportunities for scalable solutions with potentially greater reach, however, the feasibility of technology-mediated approaches to monitor and enhance health of Czech seniors has not been established and lacks in systematic research. This proposal addresses the above-mentioned challenges by (1) developing an interdisciplinary line of research in the area of mobile health (mHealth) technologies for improving behavioral health and active aging in the Czech Republic; and (2) pilot testing novel methods for behavioral and psychological monitoring in older adults through the application of Dynamic Real-Time Ecological Ambulatory Methodologies (DREAM). Mixed methods (literature and empirical analyses via cross-sectional surveys and research focus groups) will be used to establish feasibility, utility, and acceptability of mHealth approaches to monitor and enhance behavioral health in older adults and DREAM methods will be deployed to pilot test smartphone-based survey tool for older adults.