Multilevel Perspectives on Diffusing a Physical Activity Promotion Program to Reach Diverse Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Diffusing research-based physical activity programs in underserved communities could improve the health of ethnically diverse populations. We utilized a multilevel, community-based approach to determine attitudes, resources, needs, and barriers to physical activity and the potential diffusion of a physical activity promotion program to reach minority and lower-income older adults. Formative research using focus groups and individual interviews elicited feedback from multiple community sectors: community members, task force and coalition members, administrators, service implementers, health care providers, and physical activity instructors. Using qualitative data analysis, 47 transcripts (N = 197) were analyzed. Most sectors identified needs for culturally diverse resources, promotion of existing resources, demonstration of future cost savings, and culturally tailored, proactive outreach. The program was viewed favorably, especially if integrated into existing resources. Linking sectors to connect resources and expertise was considered essential. Complexities of such large-scale collaborations were identified. These results may guide communities interested in diffusing health promotion interventions.

Stewart, Grossman, Bera, Gillis, Sperber, Castrillo, and McLellan are with the University of California, San Francisco, Institute for Health and Aging, San Francisco, CA 94118. Pruitt is with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Milk was with the Public Health Division, San Mateo County Health Services Agency, San Mateo, CA. Clayton is with the Berkeley City Health Department, Berkeley, CA. Cassady is with the University of California Davis, Department of Public Health Sciences, Davis, CA.