Practicability and effectiveness of a digitalised prevention programme
The aim of prevention is to minimize illness and health conditions and to decrease the risk of certain diseases – or delay their occurrence. Patients are motivated to abandon certain behavior patterns, while making fundamental and sustainably lifestyle changes to keep themselves healthy and active in the labor market over the long term.
This research project is funded by DRV Knappschaft-Bahn-See and scientifically accompanied and evaluated by the Institute for Sports and Sports Science (IfSS) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
The study examines the effectiveness of the digital prevention program using Caspar software in terms of work ability and self-reported health. In addition, the motivation of the participants will be investigated as well as the potential need for optimization of the digital offering.
The digital prevention program is implemented using Caspar software. A non-randomized controlled trial design was chosen to evaluate the digital prevention measure. The intervention group will be recruited in the Knappschaftsklinik Borkum and will be followed up with the Caspar software for six months after a 2-week inpatient stay. The control group is recruited in three other clinics and participates in the regular RV Fit program (formerly Betsi) of the German Pension Fund.
The quantitative survey examines patients’ work ability (WAI), subjective health (SF-12) and motivation (BREQ-2) at three measurement points (during the clinic stay and 12 and 24 weeks after the stay). In order to assess the practicability, usability and acceptance of digital prevention, qualitative interviews are also conducted with therapists and patients.
Recruitment began in October 2019, and a first interim report (from October 2020) is now available. By then, a total of 110 people had been recruited for the intervention group and 20 for the control group. The participation rate differed only marginally in both groups.
With regard to work ability, subjective health and motivation, no statistically significant differences were found between the classic and the digital prevention program, so that the same effectiveness can be assumed here. However, there were slight tendencies in favor of the intervention group in the three aspects examined. During the interviews, both therapists and patients identified positive aspects of digital prevention. The flexibility of the service in terms of both location and time was frequently mentioned.
The results of the interim report indicate that both prevention offers can be classified as at least equivalent. The Caspar Health offer was positively accepted and thus represents an attractive alternative to the classic prevention program. Further results will be published in the final report at the end of 2022.