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Marcia G. Ory, Matthew Lee Smith, Luohua Jiang, Doris Howell, Shuai Chen, Jairus C. Pulczinski and Alan B. Stevens

This study examines the effectiveness of Texercise Select, a 12-week lifestyle program to improve physical functioning (as measured by gait speed) and quality of life. Baseline and 12-week follow-up assessments were collected from 220 enrollees who were older (mean = 75 years), predominantly female (85%), White (82%), and experiencing multiple comorbidities (mean = 2.4). Linear mixed-models were fitted for continuous outcome variables and GEE models with logit link function for binary outcome variables. At baseline, over 52% of participants had Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) test times of 12 s or more, which indicates below-normal performance. On average, participants showed significant reductions in TUG test scores at the postintervention (11% reduction, p < .001). Participants also showed significant improvements in general health status (p = .002), unhealthy physical days (p = .032), combined unhealthy physical and mental days (p = .006), and days limited from usual activity (p = .045). Findings suggest that performance indicators can be objectively collected and integrated into evaluation designs of community-based, activity-rich lifestyle programs.

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Alan B. Stevens, Shannon B. Thiel, Jennifer L. Thorud, Matthew Lee Smith, Doris Howell, Jessica Cargill, Suzanne M. Swierc and Marcia G. Ory

Many initiatives have been developed to facilitate older adults’ engagement in physical activity (PA) and document its benefits. One example is Texercise, a 12-week program with a focus on increasing participants’ self-efficacy. The goal of this paper is to augment the knowledgebase of PA program implementation and dissemination by elucidating the experience of Texercise implementation as perceived by multiple stakeholders. We conducted 28 semistructured stakeholder interviews and categorized the responses into four preset themes: (1) program delivery and advocacy; (2) value/merit of the program; (3) successes/challenges of offering and sustaining the program; and (4) recommendations for enhancing implementation and delivery. We identified emergent subthemes through further analysis. Many perceptions that are broadly applicable to community organizations emerged. Our findings highlight the importance of stakeholder support when embedding PA programs in communities. Furthermore, the findings are crucial to understanding underlying processes that support widespread program dissemination and sustainability.