As new multifaceted programs are developed to facilitate increased physical activity in older adults, it is increasingly important to understand how useful various program components are in achieving program goals. On concluding a community-based physical-activity-promotion program. 80 older adults (M = 74 years) completed a helpfulness survey of 12 different aspects of the program. and 20 also attended focus groups for evaluation purposes. Results indicated that personal attention from staff, an informational meeting, and telephone calls from staff were most helpful. Ratings were similar across gender, age, and income groups, as well as between those who had previously been sedentary and underactive. Compared with more educated participants, those with less education reported higher ratings for 8 of 12 program components. Results contribute to a small literature on older adults' perceptions of physical activity programs and might be useful in planning future physical activity and other health-promotion programs relying on similar components.
Gillis, Grossman, McLellan, and Stewart are with the Institute for Health and Aging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0646. King is with the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.