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Lisa M. Warner, Jochen P. Ziegelmann, Benjamin Schüz, Susanne Wurm and Ralf Schwarzer

The purpose of the current study was to examine whether the effects of social support on physical exercise in older adults depend on individual perceptions of self-efficacy. Three hundred nine older German adults (age 65–85) were assessed at 3 points in time (3 months apart). In hierarchical-regression analyses, support received from friends and exercise self-efficacy were specified as predictors of exercise frequency while baseline exercise, sex, age, and physical functioning were controlled for. Besides main effects of self-efficacy and social support, an interaction between social support and self-efficacy emerged. People with low self-efficacy were less likely to be active in spite of having social support. People with low support were less likely to be active even if they were high in self-efficacy. This points to the importance of both social support and self-efficacy and implies that these resources could be targets of interventions to increase older adults’ exercise.

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Silvia Aranda-García, Albert Iricibar, Antoni Planas, Joan A. Prat-Subirana and Rosa M. Angulo-Barroso

This study evaluates the separate effect and retention of 12-week traditional (TE) and horse (HE) exercise programs on physical function in healthy older participants (61 to 87 years old). Thirty-eight participants were randomly assigned to three groups: TE (n = 17), HE (n = 10), and control group (n = 11). TE and HE underwent a supervised exercise program (3 day/week). Maximal gait speed, muscle strength, and body balance were assessed at weeks 0, 12, and 16. Only TE and HE displayed significant improvements (P < .05) in knee extensor strength, and only HE had faster gait speed. Marginal balance improvements were found only in HE in the medial-lateral direction. However, TE showed larger improvements in handgrip than HE. The largest retention was in knee extensor strength but most of the exercise effects were lost in the follow-up. Besides TE, exercise with a horse may be an alternative option to older adults, provided that they want to interact with the animal.

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Lorraine J. Phillips and Marcia Flesner

This qualitative study investigated individual and situational factors influencing physical activity (PA) practices of elders in residential-care/assisted-living (RC/ AL) communities. This article describes the results of focus-group interviews involving 47 residents across 6 RC/AL settings. Thematic analysis revealed 6 themes: staying active, past PA experiences, value of PA, barriers to PA, strategies to facilitate PA, and support needs to promote PA. Staying active meant walking indoors and out, attending chair-exercise programs, performing professionally prescribed home exercises, and using available exercise equipment. Past PA experiences shaped current preferences and practices. Participants agreed that exercise helped maintain physical functioning but recounted cognitive and situational barriers to PA. Lack of dedicated exercise space and short corridors hampered efforts to stay active. Participants wished for individualized home exercise programs and supervised exercise sessions. Future research should examine the extent to which the physical environment and PA programming in RC/AL communities affect elders’ PA.

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Kathleen Benjamin, Nancy C. Edwards and Virendra K. Bharti

For seniors, an inactive lifestyle can result in declines in mental and physical functioning, loss of independence, and poorer quality of life. This cross-sectional descriptive study examined theory-of-planned-behavior, health-status, and sociodemographic predictors on exercise intention and behavior among 109 older and physically frail adults. Significant predictors of being a high versus a low active were a strong intention to continue exercising, positive indirect attitudes about exercise, and having been advised by a doctor to exercise. Findings indicate that a strong intention to continue exercising differentiates between those who report low levels and those who report high levels of physical activity. The results also highlight the salience of physician’s advice for seniors to exercise.

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Corjena Cheung, Jean F. Wyman and Kay Savik

Yoga is beneficial for osteoarthritis (OA) management in older adults; however, adherence to yoga practice is unknown. The purposes of this secondary analysis were to examine: (1) yoga adherence during the intervention and follow-up periods; (2) the relationship between social cognitive theory (SCT) constructs and adherence; and (3) the impact of adherence on OA-related symptoms in 36 community-dwelling older women with knee OA. SCT was used as a framework to promote adherence to a yoga intervention program that included both group/home-based practices. Adherence to yoga was high during the intervention period but decreased over time. Although SCT was a useful framework for reducing attrition during the intervention, self-efficacy was the only construct that correlated with class attendance. Higher yoga adherence was correlated with improved symptoms, physical function, sleep quality, and quality of life. Yoga adherers were likely to be older, less educated, and had a lower body mass index than nonadherers.

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Dusa Marn-Vukadinovic and Helena Jamnik

Context:

Valid patient-based outcome instruments are necessary for comprehensive patient care that focuses on all aspects of health, from impairments to participation restrictions.

Objective:

To validate the Slovenian translation of Medical Outcome Survey (MOS) Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and to assess relations among various knee measurements, activity tested with Oxford Knee Score (OKS) and health-related quality of life as estimated with SF-36 domains.

Design:

Descriptive validation study.

Setting:

Isokinetic laboratory in outpatient rehabilitation unit.

Participants:

101 subjects after unilateral sport knee injury.

Interventions:

All subjects completed the SF-36 and OKS, and isokinetic knee-muscle strength output at 60°/s was determined in 78 participants. Within a 3-d period, 43 subjects completed the SF-36 and OKS questionnaires again.

Main Outcome Measures:

Reliability testing included internal consistency and test–retest reliability. Correlations between SF-36 subscales and OKS were calculated to assess construct validity, and correlation between SF-36 subscales and muscle strength was calculated to assess concurrent validity.

Results:

Chronbach α was above .78 for all SF-36 subscales. ICCs ranged from .80 to .93. The correlation between OKS and the physical-functioning subscale, showing convergent construct validity, was higher (r = .83, P < .01) than between OKS and mental health (r = .50, P < .01), showing divergent construct validity. Knee-extensor weakness negatively correlated with physical-functioning (r = −.59, P < .01) and social-functioning (r = −.43, P < .01) subscales.

Conclusions:

The Slovenian translation of the SF-36 is a reliable and valuable tool. The relationships between knee-muscle strength and activity and between knee-muscle strength and SF-36 subscales in patients after sport knee injury were established.

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Alison R. Snyder, Jessica C. Martinez, R. Curtis Bay, John T. Parsons, Eric L. Sauers and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod

Context:

Patient-oriented outcome measures such as the Medical Outcomes Short Form (SF-36) and the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI) are important tools for determining the impact of events like sport-related injury on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Unfortunately, there are no published studies using these instruments that compare adolescent athletes with their nonathlete peers, making interpretations of these measures in this population difficult.

Objective:

To compare HRQoL in adolescent athletes and nonathletes using 2 common instruments.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

7 high schools.

Participants:

219 athletes and 106 nonathletes.

Intervention:

None.

Main Outcome Measures:

The SF-36 and the PODCI were completed in a counterbalanced manner during 1 session. Dependent variables included the 8 subscale and 2 composite scores of the SF-36 and the 5 subscale scores and 1 global score of the PODCI.

Results:

On the SF-36, athletes reported higher scores on the physical function, general health, social functioning, and mental health subscales and the mental composite score and lower scores on the bodily pain subscale than nonathletes. On the PODCI, athletes reported higher scores on the sport and physical function and happiness subscales and lower scores on the pain/comfort subscale.

Conclusions:

Athletes reported higher scores on a number of SF-36 and PODCI subscales related to mental, emotional, and physical well-being than nonathletes. Our findings suggest that athletic involvement may be a benefit to the overall health status of adolescents and imply that athletes may be a distinct adolescent group requiring their own normative values when using the SF-36 and PODCI.

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Matthew P. Ford, Laurie A. Malone, Harrison C. Walker, Ildiko Nyikos, Rama Yelisetty and C. Scott Bickel

Background:

UPDRS and PDQ-39 are reliable and valid assessments of quality of life and physical function in persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, these measures were not designed to track day-to-day or week-to-week changes in community activity in persons with PD.

Methods:

Twelve individuals with PD (stage 1 to 3, Hoehn and Yahr) who were active members of a health and wellness facility were recruited for this study. Investigators collected health history information, asked questions about the amount and frequency of weekly exercise, and assessed motor symptoms and ADL skills using the UPDRS, and provided participants with Step Activity Monitor (SAM). SAM data were collected for a continuous 7-day period.

Results:

Participants averaged 8996 steps/day, had an average of 322 minutes of step activity per day, but were inactive (minIA) 77% of their time per day. On the days that participants visited the health and wellness facility they took an average of 802 more steps with 12 minutes more activity per day.

Conclusions:

A SAM can be used to capture activity levels in persons with PD. These pilot data indicate that persons with mild to moderate PD can achieve step activity levels similar to healthy older adults.

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NiCole R. Keith, Daniel O. Clark, Timothy E. Stump, Douglas K. Miller and Christopher M. Callahan

Background:

An accurate physical fitness survey could be useful in research and clinical care.

Purpose:

To estimate the validity and reliability of a Self-Reported Fitness (SRFit) survey; an instrument that estimates muscular fitness, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, BMI, and body composition (BC) in adults ≥ 40 years of age.

Methods:

201 participants completed the SF-36 Physical Function Subscale, International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), Older Adults’ Desire for Physical Competence Scale (Rejeski), the SRFit survey, and the Rikli and Jones Senior Fitness Test. BC, height and weight were measured. SRFit survey items described BC, BMI, and Senior Fitness Test movements. Correlations between the Senior Fitness Test and the SRFit survey assessed concurrent validity. Cronbach’s Alpha measured internal consistency within each SRFit domain. SRFit domain scores were compared with SF-36, IPAQ, and Rejeski survey scores to assess construct validity. Intraclass correlations evaluated test-retest reliability.

Results:

Correlations between SRFit and the Senior Fitness Test domains ranged from 0.35 to 0.79. Cronbach’s Alpha scores were .75 to .85. Correlations between SRFit and other survey scores were –0.23 to 0.72 and in the expected direction. Intraclass correlation coefficients were 0.79 to 0.93. All P-values were 0.001.

Conclusion:

Initial evaluation supports the SRFit survey’s validity and reliability.

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Katherine S. Hall and Edward McAuley

Background:

Few studies have examined physical activity behavior and its associated outcomes in older adults living in retirement communities. Guided by the disablement model and social cognitive theory, we tested a cross-sectional model in which physical activity was hypothesized to influence disability indirectly through self-efficacy, functional performance, and functional limitations.

Methods:

One hundred six older men and women residing in independent-living (ILF) assisted-living (ALF) facilities completed self-report measures of self-efficacy, function, and disability. Objective assessments of physical activity and functional performance were conducted using waist-mounted accelerometers and the short physical performance battery (SPPB), respectively. Path analysis was used to examine the proposed associations among constructs.

Results:

Older adults who were more active were also more efficacious and had better physical function and fewer functional limitations. Only higher levels of self-efficacy were associated with less disability. The effects of individual-level covariates were also examined.

Conclusions:

This cross-sectional study is among the first to examine the associations between physical activity, function, and disability among older adults residing in ILFs and ALFs. Future research addressing the physical and psychological needs of this growing population is warranted.