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The Relation of Attitude Toward Technology and Mastery Experience After an App-Guided Physical Exercise Intervention: Randomized Crossover Trial

Sassenberg, Kai; Roesel, Inka; Sudeck, Gorden; Bernecker, Katharina; Durst, Jennifer; Krauss, Inga (2022). The Relation of Attitude Toward Technology and Mastery Experience After an App-Guided Physical Exercise Intervention: Randomized Crossover Trial. JMIR Formative Research, 6 (2), e28913. 10.2196/28913

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Physical exercise has been found to assert a positive impact on many muscular conditions. Exercise under face-to-face supervision is the gold standard, but access to it is limited, for instance, for economic reasons. App-guided therapy is an intervention that is more affordable and easily accessible. However, attitude toward technology is a key predictor for media adoption and is therefore expected to shape user experience during app-guided therapy. This might be of particular importance for mastery experience, which is crucial for promoting exercise-related self-efficacy and perceived usefulness of the interaction. Both should empower patients to continuously exercise.

This study sought to test whether attitudes toward technology predict mastery experience and perceived usefulness of the interaction after an app- versus a physiotherapist-guided treatment. We expect that attitudes toward technology positively predict both outcomes in case of the app-guided but not in case of the physiotherapist-guided treatment.

Patients (n=54) with clinically diagnosed hip osteoarthritis participated in 2 training sessions with the same exercise intervention, once guided by an app on a tablet computer and once guided by a physiotherapist in a German university hospital. The order of the sessions was randomized. Attitude toward technology was assessed as predictor before the first session, while mastery experience and the global perceived usefulness of interaction as self-reported outcomes after each session.

In line with our hypotheses, attitude toward technology predicted mastery experience (b=0.16, standard error=0.07, P=.02) and usefulness of interaction (b=0.17, standard error=0.06, P=.01) after the app-based training but not after the training delivered by a physiotherapist (P>.3 in all cases). Mastery experience was lower for the app-based training but reached a very similar level as the physiotherapist-guided training for those holding a very positive attitude toward technology.

The attitude toward technology predicts the extent of mastery experience after app-guided exercise therapy. As mastery experience is highly important for self-efficacy and future exercise behavior, attitudes toward technology should be considered when delivering app-guided exercise treatments.

Trial Registration:
German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00015759;

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

PHBern Contributor:

Bernecker, K.






Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

12 Feb 2024 10:14

Last Modified:

14 Feb 2024 10:24

Publisher DOI:





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