Factors That Influence Walking Intervention Adherence for Older Adults Living in Retirement Communities

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Walking interventions improve health outcomes among older adults. However, few clinical trials evaluate long-term behavior change adherence. The authors explored factors that influence walking adherence in older adults following their participation in a clinical trial. They conducted n = 7 focus groups with n = 23 participants enrolled in the parent study (ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT03654807). The authors used content analysis to code data according to the social–ecological model. They found that supportive services (exercise classes) in retirement communities have multilevel impacts on adherence to walking activity. Residents from communities offering services continued walking because of increased confidence gained in the parent trial, while residents in communities without services were motivated by their functional improvements. Residents voiced frustration with retirement community physical activity programs that did not address the full spectrum of physical functioning. Findings support the need for retirement communities to account for various motivational factors in tailoring programs to promote increased physical activity for older adults.

Davila is with the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA. Conroy is with the Department of Kinesiology and Human Development & Family Studies, College of Health and Human Development, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA. Danilovich is with the Leonard Schanfield Research Institute, CJE SeniorLife, Chicago IL, USA and the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Davila (VDavilaDPT@outlook.com) is corresponding author.
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