|Abstract||Background: Inadequate physical activity (PA) is a serious public health problem among adolescents worldwide and in Qatar. Seeking information on health topics such as PA is increasingly documented among teens and may provide an opportunity for PA promotion. This study aimed at assessing the influence of information obtained from different sources on PA behavior change and identifying possible correlates of this change among Qatari adolescents
Methods: The current secondary analysis was based on data from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey conducted in 2017 among 1050 Qatari students aged 13-19 years. Self-reported information on demographics, psychosocial factors, PA, and sources used to obtain health information were collected. Main outcome was the attempt to change PA behavior. Logistic regression analysis accounting for survey design information was carried out to examine the association between the outcome and information sources used to attempt PA change, and to find independent predictors for this attempt.
Results: Nearly 68% of the respondents tried to change PA behavior (65% male versus 72% female), and 46% were physically active (55% males versus 38% females). Based on information from interpersonal, traditional, online, and social media sources about 65%, 55%, 51%, and 54% of adolescents respectively attempted to change their PA behavior. Results from multivariable logistic regression showed that teens who used information from interpersonal and online sources to try to change their behavior had 9 times (OR=9.35, 95% CI: 4.15-21.08, P<0.001) and nearly 3 times (OR=2.53, 95% CI: 1.50-4.27, P=0.001) higher odds of change in PA, respectively. The odds of attempt to change PA were 2 times higher among older adolescents (16-19 years) (OR=2.17, 95% CI: 1.37-3.44, P= 0.002) and among teens who considered PA an important topic (OR=2.34, 95% CI: 1.13-4.84, P=0.023).
Conclusion: The results highlight the role of interpersonal and online sources in fostering behavior change among adolescents in addition to the influence of age and personal value of PA on initiating such changes. Findings from this study may help policymakers in designing appropriate PA interventions that adapt multiple delivery approach. It is recommended that future PA-related behavior change interventions in Qatar are age- and gender- sensitive and stress the importance and relevance of PA to teen’s health.