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Seung-Youn Hong, Susan Hughes and Thomas Prohaska

Background:

Many different constructs are used currently in the literature to assess exercise adherence. This study examined whether the same or different variables predict exercise attendance and exercise completion among sedentary older adults.

Methods:

Thirty-seven randomized control trials were selected from articles published between 1980 and 2000 that tested exercise interventions for sedentary older adults. Block-entry, weighted, hierarchical meta-regression analyses were conducted.

Results:

Different factors predicted attendance and completion. Group-based (P < .05) and resistance exercise (P < .1) predicted higher attendance rates than individual-based and aerobic exercise. In contrast, facility-based exercise was associated with higher completion rates than home-based exercise (P < .1).

Conclusions:

Results show that completing a program is not synonymous with good attendance. Program designers need to consider different strategies to boost both of these rates that need to be maximized to best benefit program participants.

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David X. Marquez, Robert Wilson, Susan Aguiñaga, Priscilla Vásquez, Louis Fogg, Zhi Yang, JoEllen Wilbur, Susan Hughes and Charles Spanbauer

Disparities exist between Latinos and non-Latino Whites in cognitive function. Dance is culturally appropriate and challenges individuals physically and cognitively, yet the impact of regular dancing on cognitive function in older Latinos has not been examined. A two-group pilot trial was employed among inactive, older Latinos. Participants (N = 57) participated in the BAILAMOS© dance program or a health education program. Cognitive test scores were converted to z-scores and measures of global cognition and specific domains (executive function, episodic memory, working memory) were derived. Results revealed a group × time interaction for episodic memory (p < .05), such that the dance group showed greater improvement in episodic memory than the health education group. A main effect for time for global cognition (p < .05) was also demonstrated, with participants in both groups improving. Structured Latin dance programs can positively influence episodic memory, and participation in structured programs may improve overall cognition among older Latinos.

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Cheryl Der Ananian, Renae Smith-Ray, Brad Meacham, Amy Shah and Susan Hughes

This study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of translating the evidence-based program, Fit & Strong!, into a Spanish program, ¡En Forma y Fuerte!. A single-group, quasi-experimental design (n = 34, mean age = 58.8 [8.1], 87.2% female, 87.2% reported speaking mostly Spanish) was used to assess implementation feasibility and the impact of ¡En Forma y Fuerte! on arthritis-related outcomes in Hispanics with arthritis. Significant improvements in lower-extremity strength, perceived physical function, and pain were observed from baseline to 8 weeks (p < .05); these improvements were maintained at 6 months. Significant improvements in aerobic endurance and stiffness were observed from baseline to 6 months (p < .05). No major program adaptations (other than language) were observed or reported. However, the instructors provided several suggestions for program improvements, including adjusting the literacy level and length of the program. Findings suggest ¡En Forma y Fuerte! is feasible and effective, potentially providing a much-needed program for older Hispanics with arthritis.