Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Computer Science

First Advisor

Kent, Dr. Robert






This thesis is an examination of a Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) developed originally by R. Schwarzer for use in understanding and effecting health behaviour adoption. Although HAPA provides an integral aspect of formulating health treatment strategies by human practitioners for human patients, at the present time no simulation models suited to computer implementation and usage exist for the study of and support for health behaviour adoption within a HAPA framework. This thesis examines the relevant research with respect to HAPA and the components necessary to build a simulation model and platform for an online, self-managing SCI community. We design an architecture for the platform that satisfies the primary requirements suggested by HAPA and SCI patients, particularly directed at gathering relevant data consisting of health indicators. Also, we develop several algorithms used for analysis of HAPA related health states and transitions between states. Since this research did not involve any human subjects, the intention was to simulate certain critical behaviours and changes using an agent based modeling approach. Inasmuch as agents can provide only approximations to real human behaviour, they are still useful and informative. As part of our results, we show that an automated HAPA classification can reduce the risk of agents dropping a health behaviour or program due to misclassification. Further, findings revealed that 6% of the agents are in danger of dropping the adoption of an individual health behaviour within two weeks and that 14% of the agents are at risk of dropping out of the community without continual HAPA reclassification.