Effects of customer relationship management (CRM) strategies and socio-cognitive constructs on the physical activity of individuals with arthritis over time

Fiona J. Newton, Tilahun N. Haregu, Joshua D. Newton, Robert Donovan, Ajay Mahal, Ruth Heather MacKenzie-Stewart, Michael T. Ewing, Adrian Bauman, Karine E. Manera, Ben Smith

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Background Regular physical activity is important for arthritis self-management and could be promoted through tailoring community leisure and fitness centers’ customer-relationship management (CRM) strategies. Objectives This study investigates the influence of two CRM strategies on individuals with arthritis reaching or maintaining two moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) thresholds (≥150 and ≥45 minutes/week) from baseline-to-12 months and 12-to-24 months as well as mean changes in total minutes/week of MVPA. It also explores time-dependent variations in the influence of socio-cognitive variables on MVPA outcomes. Methods Survey data from 374 participants with arthritis in a two-year randomized controlled trial (control versus two CRM strategies: IncentiveOnly and Incentive+Support) were used. Participants reported measures of physical activity participation, socio-cognitive decision-making, mental and physical wellbeing, friendship, community connectedness, sense of trust in others, and demographics. Findings/discussion Receiving the Incentive+Support CRM strategy (versus control) increased participants’ likelihood of reaching/maintaining both physical activity thresholds from 12-to-24 months (≥150 MVPA minutes/week, p < .001; ≥45 MVPA minutes/week, p < .032) but not from baseline-to-12 months. However, receiving the IncentiveOnly CRM strategy (versus control) did not predict reaching/maintaining these thresholds. Importantly, socio-cognitive decision-making variables’ influence on reaching/maintaining these MVPA thresholds varied over time, suggesting CRM strategies may require further tailoring based on time-specific profiles. Perhaps because of new facility induced excitement, the mean change in total MVPA minutes/ week for the control group significantly increased (26.8 minute/week, p = .014, 95% CI [5.5, 48.0]) from baseline-to-12 months, but subsequently declined by 11.4 minute/week from 12-to-24 months (p = .296, 95% CI [-32.7, 9.9]). Mean changes in total MVPA minutes/week were non-significant for those receiving IncentiveOnly content but significant for those receiving Incentive+Support content: baseline-to-12 months (38.2 minute/week increase, p = .023, 95% CI [4.9, 71.4]) and baseline-to-24-months (45.9 minute/week increase, p = .007, 95% CI [12.7, 79.1]).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0292692
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • arthritis
  • moderate to vigorous physical activity
  • customer relationship management (CRM)
  • supportive messaging
  • consumer incentives
  • Randomized Control Trial
  • social cognitive decision-making
  • physical activity profiles

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