This project is Project three of a four project Prevention Coaching Lab CREATE grant entitled
"Transforming Prevention into Action" aimed at effectively engaging patients and their
families to improve their health and medical care.
This project will test the feasibility and effectiveness of the prevention focused, internet
mediated healthy lifestyle Stay Strong program tailored to the needs, preferences and
demographics of OEF/OIF Veterans.
Veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF/OIF) are at high risk for becoming overweight and
obese. However, existing VA programs are not designed for younger Veterans who are
comfortable with technology-mediated interventions, may not yet have developed
obesity-related illnesses, and contain a relatively high percentage of women compared to
previous Veteran cohorts. Technology-mediated lifestyle interventions that include
continuous, objective home monitoring of physical activity, automated internet mediated
feedback, and e-coaching increase physical activity and improve weight loss in non-Veteran
populations. When delivered on a large scale, such interventions represent low cost but
effective alternatives to face-to-face lifestyle change interventions that can be implemented
widely in the VA health care system. Thus, this project will test the feasibility and
effectiveness of the prevention focused, internet-mediated healthy lifestyle physical
activity program, Stay Strong, tailored to the needs, preferences and demographics of OEF/OIF
Veterans. Specifically, Stay Strong relies on use of a wearable device, the Fitbit Charge HR,
and incorporates coaching support, tailored messages, and personalized physical activity
goals. Stay Strong will be compared to the use of the Fitbit Charge HR with standard online
1. OEF/OIF/OND Veteran
2. Can identify a VA Medical Center and VA Health Care Provider responsible for his/her
care in the system
3. Interested in starting a physical activity program in the next 30 days
4. Access to a computer with an internet connection and a working USB port.
5. A smartphone or tablet running a compatible iOS or Android operating system.
6. Younger than Age 65
1. Veteran self-reports that a health care provider has told the patient that it is
currently unsafe to exercise in an unsupervised or unmonitored setting. (Can become
eligible with written medical clearance).
2. History of eating disorders or a BMI < 20
3. Not competent to consent to a research study by self-reporting a legal guardian who
makes medical decisions for the Veteran.
Laura J. Damschroder, MPH
VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI
Felicia A McCant, MSW
Phone: (919) 286-0411 ext. 4041