A Randomized Pilot Trial of a Multicomponent Text-message Intervention to Promote Physical Activity in Midlife Adults

Jane Jurayj, BA

Massachusetts General Hospital – Research Assistant
Jurayj_Jane poster

Scientific Abstract

Background: Physical activity plays an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease, yet many midlife adults do not reach recommended activity levels. Midlife-specific stressors, low motivation, and low levels of psychological well-being may contribute to reduced physical activity in midlife. Existing physical activity programs do not address all of these components and may be difficult to access for busy midlife adults. Text message interventions that adapt to provide targeted content may be more accessible than traditional in-person interventions but have not been studied in this population. Accordingly, we developed a 12-week, algorithm-driven, interactive text message intervention to promote physical activity, stress reduction, and well-being (MASTERY [Midlife, Activity, Stress reduction, Time Efficiency, Resilience, and Youthfulness]). In this randomized pilot trial, we will examine its feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy in 80 physically-inactive midlife adults.

Methods: Eligible participants are adults between the ages of 45-64 who complete less than 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. After completing baseline measures, participants are randomized to the MASTERY intervention or an attentional control condition. MASTERY consists of weekly text message “sessions” that focus on well-being, physical activity, and stress reduction and four phone sessions with a study trainer. The control condition mirrors MASTERY but includes non-interactive, educational messages. Feasibility will be measured by rates of engagement with text messages and acceptability by participant ratings of intervention utility. We will assess the preliminary impact of the intervention on objectively measured physical activity, psychological constructs, and functional outcomes at 6 and 12 weeks.

Results: Recruitment began in September 2021 and is ongoing.

Conclusions: If the intervention is feasible, acceptable, and associated with promising effects on physical activity and other outcomes, we will assess the program’s efficacy in a larger trial that is powered to detect between-group differences in physical activity and health outcomes.

Live Zoom Session – March 9th

research Areas


Jane S. Jurayj, B.A., Christopher M. Celano, M.D., Rachel A. Millstein, Ph.D., M.H.S., Christina N. Massey, Ph.D., Emily H. Feig, Ph.D., Wei-Jean Chung, Ph.D., Monika Sadlonova, M.D., Alba Carrillo, Ph.D, Margaret C. Bell R.N, M.P.H, M.S., Sophie C. Staton, M.S.W., Jeff C. Huffman, M.D.

Principal Investigator

Jeff Huffman, MD

Affiliated Website