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Meghan L. Butryn, Evan Forman, Kimberly Hoffman, Jena Shaw and Adrienne Juarascio

Background:

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) appears to have some promise as a method of promoting physical activity.

Method:

This pilot study evaluated the short-term effectiveness of a brief, physical-activity-focused ACT intervention. Young adult, female participants were randomly assigned to an Education (n = 19) or ACT (n = 35) intervention. Both interventions consisted of 2, 2-hour group sessions. ACT sessions taught skills for mindfulness, values clarification, and willingness to experience distress in the service of behavior change.

Results:

Of the intervention completers, ACT participants increased their level of physical activity significantly more than Education participants.

Conclusions:

The results indicate that ACT approaches have the potential to promote short-term increases in physical activity.

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Stephanie G. Kerrigan, Evan M. Forman, Mitesh Patel, Dave Williams, Fengqing Zhang, Ross D. Crosby and Meghan L. Butryn

Background: Despite interest in financial incentive programs, evidence regarding the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of deposit contracts (ie, use of participants’ own money as a financial reward) for increasing physical activity (PA) is limited. Furthermore, evidence regarding the use of feedback within incentive programs is limited. Purpose: To evaluate: (1) the feasibility and acceptability of deposit contracts for increasing objectively measured PA and (2) the effects of deposit contracts with or without ongoing feedback on PA. Methods: Participants (n = 24) were exposed to 3 conditions (1) self-monitoring, (2) incentive, and (3) incentive with feedback in an ABACABAC design, with the order of incentive conditions counterbalanced across participants. Results: Effect sizes suggest that individuals had a modest increase in PA during the incentive conditions compared with self-monitoring. Presentation order moderated results, such that individuals exposed to incentives with feedback first performed more poorly across both incentive conditions. In addition, individuals often cited the deposit contract as a reason for not enrolling, and those who did participate reported inadequate acceptability of the incentives and feedback. Conclusions: Results suggest that while deposit contracts may engender modest increases in PA, this type of incentive may not be feasible or acceptable for promoting PA.

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Meghan L. Butryn, Danielle Arigo, Greer A. Raggio, Alison Infield Kaufman, Stephanie G. Kerrigan and Evan M. Forman

Background:

Physical activity (PA) is essential for health, but many adults find PA adherence challenging. Acceptance of discomfort related to PA may influence an individual’s ability to begin and sustain a program of exercise. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Physical Activity Acceptance Questionnaire (PAAQ).

Methods:

The PAAQ was administered to 3 distinct samples (N = 418). Each sample completed additional self-report measures; 1 sample also wore accelerometers for 7 days (at baseline and 6 months later).

Results:

The PAAQ demonstrated high internal validity for its total score (α = .89) and 2 subscales (Cognitive Acceptance α = .86, Behavioral Commitment α = .85). The PAAQ also showed convergent validity with measures of mindfulness, self-reported physical activity levels, and accelerometer-verified levels of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA; P-values < .05). The Cognitive Acceptance subscale showed predictive validity for objectively-verified PA levels among individuals attempting to increase PA over 6 months (P = .05). Test-retest reliability for a subset of participants (n = 46) demonstrated high consistency over 1 week (P < .0001).

Conclusions:

The PAAQ demonstrates sound psychometric properties, and shows promise for improving the current understanding of PA facilitators and barriers among adults.