Characteristics of visitors and revisitors to an Internet-delivered computer-tailored lifestyle intervention implemented for use by the general public
The Internet has become important for the delivery of behavior change interventions. This observational study examines how many people visited, registered and revisited a web-based computer-tailored intervention promoting heart-healthy behaviors when it is implemented for use by the general public. Among registered visitors, the association between visitors' characteristics and initiating, completing and revisiting the website and/or its behavior-specific modules was analyzed. Server statistics showed that 285146 visitors from unique IP addresses landed on the home page in a 36-month period; of these, >50% left the intervention website within 30 s. In total, 81574 (28.6%) visitors completed the registration procedure and gained access to the intervention; 99% of registered visitors initiated one module, 91% completed at least one module and 6% revisited the intervention. The majority of the registered visitors were women, medium to highly educated, with a body mass index (BMI) <25. Women, visitors aged 40-50 years, visitors with a medium educational level and visitors with a BMI <25 were more likely to initiate and finish the modules. It is concluded that a heart-healthy computer-tailored Internet program can reach substantial numbers of people, but additional research is needed to develop promotional strategies that reach the high-risk population, i.e. men, older and lower educated persons.