Effectiveness of the 5A’s Model for Changing Physical Activity Behaviors in Rural Adults Recruited From Primary Care Clinics

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Background: Most rural adults do not meet current guidelines for physical activity (PA). A 12-week feasibility study tested the effectiveness of using the 5A’s model for PA counseling on rural adults’ PA behaviors. Methods: Inactive rural adults recruited from a primary care clinic were randomized to an intervention (n = 30) or control (n = 29) group. All subjects wore a Fitbit to track steps and active minutes. The intervention group completed action plans to improve self-regulatory PA strategies and received weekly motivational text messages to improve PA behaviors. Theory of planned behavior constructs and self-regulatory strategies of planning, goal setting, and tracking (steps and active minutes) were measured with both groups. The control group received the Fitbit only. Results: All individuals became more physically active; however, no significant differences between groups in active minutes or steps were found. All subjects, regardless of group, increased steps (P > .05). There were no statistically significant differences between groups on any of the theoretical variables. Conclusions: It is vitally important to continue to find ways to make PA a priority to improve the overall health and well-being of rural adults. Future research warrants adjusting the intervention dose and strategies to increase PA that can be maintained long term.

Reed is with the College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Kearney, NE. Estabrooks and Wichman are with the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Pozehl is with the College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE. Heelan is with the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, NE.

Reed (jrreed@unmc.edu) is corresponding author.
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