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This paper describes the support mechanisms of a 6-month program designed to increase the physical activity levels of older adults in congregate housing facilities and in the community at large. It also reports participant ratings of perceived helpfulness of the various mechanisms to determine the relative value of these mechanisms to enrollees attempting to change their behavior. In general, there was consistency with respect to the ratings of perceived helpfulness between those residing in the community and those from the congregate housing facilities. However, some differences were found. For example, those residing in the community generally rated the mechanisms as less helpful than did participants from congregate housing settings. Individualized attention was ranked among the most helpful features. Results should be useful to those who design and implement physical activity promotion programs for older adults.
P.G. Sepsis is with the Health Promotion Department, Lifeguard Health Care, Milpitas, CA 95035. A.L. Stewart, B. McLellan, K. Mills, and W. Shoumaker are with the Institute for Health & Aging and the School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0646. A.C. King is with the Department of Health Research and Policy and the Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1583.