Perceived Health Care Climate of Older People Attending an Exercise Program: Validation of the German Short Version of the Health Care Climate Questionnaire

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The role of perceived need support from exercise professionals in improving mental health was examined in a sample of older adults, thereby validating the short Health Care Climate Questionnaire. A total of 491 older people (M = 72.68 years; SD = 5.47) attending a health exercise program participated in this study. Cronbach’s alpha was found to be high (α = .90). Satisfaction with the exercise professional correlated moderately with the short Health Care Climate Questionnaire mean value (r = .38; p < .01). The mediator analyses yielded support for the self-determination theory process model in older adults by showing both basic need satisfaction and frustration as mediating variables between perceived autonomy support and depressive symptoms. The short Health Care Climate Questionnaire is an economical instrument for assessing basic need satisfaction provided by the exercise therapist from the participant’s perspective. Furthermore, this cross-sectional study supported the link from coaching style to the satisfaction/frustration of basic psychological needs, which in turn, predicted mental health. Analyses of criterion validity suggest a revision of the construct by integrating need frustration.

Heissel, Pietrek, and Rapp are with Social and Preventive Medicine, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. Heissel is also with Sport-Gesundheitspark Berlin e.V./ Zentrum für Sportmedizin, Berlin, Germany. Heinzel is with Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie, Erziehungswissenschaft und Psychologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Williams is with the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, Centre for Community Health and Prevention, Healthy Living Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, NY, USA.

Heissel (andreas.heissel@uni-potsdam.de) is corresponding author.
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