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Beth A. Lewis, LeighAnn H. Forsyth, Bernardine M. Pinto, Beth C. Bock, Mary Roberts and Bess H. Marcus

Behavioral science theories have been used to develop physical activity interventions; however, little is known as to whether these interventions are effective due to changes in constructs related to these theories. Specifically, if the intervention is successful, does it work for the reasons hypothesized by the theory underlying it? The purpose of this study was to examine the importance of particular theoretical constructs among participants (n = 150) who had been randomly assigned to a physical activity intervention based on the Transtheoretical Model and Social Cognitive Theory (i.e., tailored group) or to a standard care group. Participants in the tailored group reported greater increases in behavioral processes and self-efficacy from baseline to 3 months than participants in the standard-care group. No between-group differences were found for cognitive processes and decisional balance. This study demonstrates that theory-based physical activity interventions may be effective through changes in particular theoretical constructs.

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Samuel R. Nyman and Lucy Yardley

This study evaluated a Web site providing tailored advice to encourage older people to undertake strength and balance training (SBT). Adults age 60–88 (N = 302) were randomized to read either generic advice or advice tailored to their self-perceived balance problems and activity preferences. Between-groups differences in attitudes toward SBT after reading the advice did not quite reach significance (p = .059), but the tailored group reported higher ratings than the generic group that the advice was personally relevant (p = .017) and that the activities would be good for them (p = .047). Within-groups differences in the tailored group showed that completing an action plan increased confidence in undertaking SBT (p = .006). These findings were supported by a meta-analysis that pooled the effect sizes with those of a previous study. Thus, a tailored Web site might be a cost-effective way of encouraging some older people to undertake SBT.

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David M. Williams, George D. Papandonatos, Melissa A. Napolitano, Beth A. Lewis, Jessica A. Whiteley and Bess H. Marcus

Given the decreased rate of morbidity and mortality associated with physical activity, understanding the factors that enhance the efficacy of physical activity interventions is a priority. The present study examined the moderating effect of baseline enjoyment of physical activity on the efficacy of a physical activity intervention. Participants were 238 healthy low-active adults enrolled in Project STRIDE, a randomized, controlled, clinical trial comparing individually tailored print and telephone interventions to a contact control. Results indicated a significant interaction between intervention assignment (telephone or print intervention vs. contact control) and baseline enjoyment on physical activity at 6 months, as measured by the 7-Day Physical Activity Recall (z = 2.44, p < .05). These results indicate that our motivationally tailored physical activity promotion program may be more effective among individuals reporting greater enjoyment of physical activity at baseline, and suggest that attention be paid to designing programs that can be effective for participants who report lower levels of physical activity enjoyment.

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Silvia Pogliaghi, Cecilia Bellotti and Donald H. Paterson

The authors developed and validated a “tailored” version of the Åstrand-Rhyming step test (tA-R) and a new equation for VO2max prediction in older adults (OA). Sixty subjects (age 68 ± 4 yr, 30 male, 30 female) performed their tA-R step test (5-min, 30-cm step, tailored stepping rate) and an incremental cycling test to exhaustion. VO2max was (a) predicted using the standard A-R equation (predictedVO2max), (b) predicted based on the authors’ new multiple linear equation (equationVO2max), and (c) directly measured by incremental cycling test (directVO2max). Agreement among values of VO2max was evaluated by Bland-Altman analysis. The predictedVO2max was not significantly different from the directVO2max, yet with relatively large imprecision. The equationVO2max allowed more precise as well as accurate predictions of VO2max compared with standard A-R prediction. The “tailored” version of the Åstrand-Rhyming step test and the new prediction equation appear suitable for a rapid (5-min), safe (submaximal), accurate, and precise VO2max prediction in healthy OA.

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Anthony P. Marsh, Elizabeth A. Chmelo, Jeffrey A. Katula, Shannon L. Mihalko and W. Jack Rejeski

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a walking program supplemented by tasks designed to challenge balance and mobility (WALK+) could improve physical function more than a traditional walking program (WALK) in older adults at risk for mobility disability. 31 community-dwelling older adults (M ± SD age = 76 ± 5 yr; Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB] score = 8.4 ± 1.7) were randomized to treatment. Both interventions were 18 sessions (1 hr, 3×/wk) and progressive in intensity and duration. Physical function was assessed using the SPPB and the 400-m-walk time. A subset of participants in the WALK group who had relatively lower baseline function showed only small improvement in their SPPB scores after the intervention (0.3 ± 0.5), whereas a subset of participants in the WALK+ group with low baseline function showed substantial improvement in their SPPB scores (2.2 ± 0.7). These preliminary data underscore the potential importance of tailoring interventions for older adults based on baseline levels of physical function.

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Lisa M. Quintiliani, Marci K. Campbell, J. Michael Bowling, Susan Steck, Pamela S. Haines and Brenda M. DeVellis

Background:

A better understanding of identifying tailoring variables would improve message design. Tailoring to a behavior that a participant selects as one they would like to work on may increase message relevance, and thus effectiveness. This trial compared 3 groups: message tailored to physical activity as a participant-selected topic (choice), message tailored to physical activity as an expert-determined topic (expert), or nontailored message (comparison).

Methods:

408 female college students received web-delivered computer-tailored messages on physical activity. Outcomes were immediate and 1-month follow-up changes in psychosocial, goal-related, and behavioral variables related to physical activity.

Results:

Participants were predominately non-Hispanic White (73.8%). Change in self-efficacy and goal commitment at immediate follow-up and vigorous physical activity at 1-month follow-up was greater in the expert versus comparison group. Change in goal commitment at immediate follow-up was lower in the choice versus expert group. In the expert group, those choosing physical activity as their selected topic perceived the goal to be easier at immediate follow-up compared with those receiving unmatched messages.

Conclusions:

Findings supported tailoring to an expert-determined topic. However, based on the beneficial change in perceived goal difficulty when topics matched, future research should encourage synchrony between participant-selected topics and expert recommendations.

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Tina Louisa Cook, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Lea Maes, Leen Haerens, Evangelia Grammatikaki, Kurt Widhalm, Lydia Kwak, Maria Plada, Luis Alberto Moreno, Yannis Tountas, Antonis Zampelas, Yannis Manios and on hehalf of the HELENA group

Background:

The aim was to examine if psychosocial determinants (attitudes, self-efficacy, social support from a sports partner) and perceived environmental barriers (PEB) of physical activity (PA) mediated the effect of a 3-month Internet-based intervention on PA in European adolescents.

Methods:

A sample of 536 adolescents (51% boys) aged 12–17 years were randomly assigned to intervention or control condition. Questionnaires were used to assess different PA behaviors, psychosocial determinants and PEB at baseline and at 3-month follow-up. Mediating effects were assessed with the bootstrapping method.

Results:

PEB regarding neighborhood safety mediated the effect of the intervention on all PA indices. PEB regarding sports facilities availability at neighborhood and PEB regarding sport-related facilities availability at school mediated the effect of the intervention on moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) and moderate PA (in leisure time and at school, respectively). Social support from a sports partner suppressed the effect of the intervention on vigorous PA and MVPA. No other factor had a mediation effect.

Conclusions:

All PEB measures appear to mediate PA behaviors of different intensities and in different contexts. Interventions promoting PA in adolescents should also focus on improving the targeted PEB as mediators of engagement in PA to bring the desired effects in actual behaviors.

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Pamela K. Samra, Amanda L. Rebar, Lynne Parkinson, Jannique G.Z. van Uffelen, Stephanie Schoeppe, Deborah Power, Anthony Schneiders, Corneel Vandelanotte and Stephanie Alley

older adults in regional Australia. For maximal effect, physical activity interventions need to be tailored or targeted toward the specific needs and wants of the target population ( Short, Rebar, Plotnikoff, & Vandelanotte, 2015 ). Although the evidence is mixed ( Van Cauwenberg et al., 2011 ), some

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Paul R. Ashbrook, Andrew Gillham and Douglas Barba

), the lack of individually tailored programs available ( Weinberg & Williams, 2015 ), and the quality of the athlete–practitioner relationship ( Sharp & Hodge, 2014 ; Wrisberg, Simpson, Loberg, Withycombe, & Reed, 2009 ). In an attempt to address these concerns, several creative and systematic program