The purpose of this study was to examine what happens to goals over the course of a physical activity counseling trial in older veterans. At baseline, participants (N = 313) identified 1 health-related goal and 1 walking goal for their participation in the study and rated where they perceived themselves to be relative to that goal at the current time. They rated their current status on these same goals again at 6 and 12 mo. Growth-curve analyses were used to examine longitudinal change in perceived goal status. Although both the intervention and control groups demonstrated improvement in their perceived proximity to their health-related and walking goals (L = 1.19, p < .001), the rates of change were significantly greater in the intervention group (β = –.30, p < .05). Our results demonstrate that this physical activity counseling intervention had a positive impact on self-selected goals over the course of the intervention.
Hall, Howard, and Morey are with the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center; Crowley, the Neurodiagnostic Center; and Bosworth, the Health Services Research and Development Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC.