Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Translating two physical activity programs for older adults into home- and community-based settings: “Active Start” and “Healthy Moves for Aging Well”
by Yan, Tingjian, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 73; 3355402
Abstract (Summary)

Most of the existing physical activity intervention studies among older adults have not been designed to change their lifestyles or activity behaviors, and have not targeted frail, underserved older adults. Two physical activity promotion programs entitled Healthy Moves for Aging Well (“Healthy Moves”) and Active Start were developed to address this research gap. This dissertation evaluated the effectiveness of these two physical activity programs.

Outcomes were analyzed using a within-group, pretest-posttest design. For the Active Start program, paired t-tests were employed to analyze unadjusted mean changes in physical performance measures from pretest to 20-week posttest. Repeated measures ANCOVAs (using SAS proc mixed) were then conducted to calculate the adjusted mean change for the intervention group. For the Healthy Moves program, paired t-tests and nonparametric Wilcoxon signed rank tests were employed to analyze the changes in health outcomes from pre-test to 3-month post-test, depending on the distribution and types of variables. Multiple regression models were conducted to examine whether different coaching strategies were associated with changes in exercise performance.

Results show that participation in Active Start produced significant improvement in physical performance measuring strength, flexibility and balance among overall participants and by race/ethnicity. As a home-based low-intensity strength training program, Healthy Moves can motivate high-risk, ethnically diverse older adults to exercise. Participants had significant decline in the number of falls and pain level and this decline was found among participants who improved their exercise performance. Individuals with the combination of face-to-face and phone coaches had better exercise performance, compared to those motivated by phone coaching alone.

Guided by the REAIM framework, this dissertation research reported on the target population and the recruitment strategies (“Reach”), examined the “effectiveness” of the two interventions, described the participation rate and characteristics of intervention agents (“Adopt”), and identified essential intervention elements (“Implementation”). Strategies for building sustainable evidence-based health programs should be addressed in future studies to maintain the benefits of physical activity for older adults over time (“Maintenance”).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilber, Kathleen H.
Commitee: Nichol, Michael B., Pynoos, Jon
School: University of Southern California
Department: Gerontology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gerontology
Keywords: Active Start, Community-based, Healthy Moves for Aging Well, Home-based, Older adults, Physical activity
Publication Number: 3355402
ISBN: 978-1-109-13953-2
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