Results of the First Year of Active for Life: Translation of 2 Evidence-Based Physical Activity Programs for Older Adults Into Community Settings

Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 08/2006; 96(7):1201-9. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.074690
Source: PubMed


Translating efficacious interventions into practice within community settings is a major public health challenge. We evaluated the effects of 2 evidence-based physical activity interventions on self-reported physical activity and related outcomes in midlife and older adults.
Four community-based organizations implemented Active Choices, a 6-month, telephone-based program, and 5 implemented Active Living Every Day, a 20-week, group-based program. Both programs emphasize behavioral skills necessary to become more physically active. Participants completed pretest and posttest surveys.
Participants (n=838) were aged an average of 68.4 +/-9.4 years, 80.6% were women, and 64.1% were non-Hispanic White. Seventy-two percent returned posttest surveys. Intent-to-treat analyses found statistically significant increases in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and total physical activity, decreases in depressive symptoms and stress, increases in satisfaction with body appearance and function, and decreases in body mass index.
The first year of Active for Life demonstrated that Active Choices and Active Living Every Day, 2 evidence-based physical activity programs, can be successfully translated into community settings with diverse populations. Further, the magnitudes of change in outcomes were similar to those reported in the efficacy trials.

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    • "This bi-directionality is encouraging from a behavior change standpoint as it suggests that interventions which promote either physical activity or more efficient executive function may have the capacity to produce reciprocal benefits. Physical activity has been successfully increased among older adults using strategies such as telephone counseling and groupbased programmes (Wilcox et al., 2006); pedometer-driven interventions (Talbot et al., 2003); and education-based interventions (van der Bij et al., 2002). Although challenging and labor intensive, there is evidence that executive function can also be improved through training. "
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    • "These improvements were not maintained at 12-months from the levels obtained at 6-months, although there were still improvements from baseline with an increase of 5.2% participants meeting recommended physical activity guidelines. These results are consistent with findings in other small-scale and less generalisable studies that included a telephone coaching component [10,14]. Adjusted models confirmed this finding. "
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    • "Both TCs received 16 hours of initial training in a group setting using the standardized TRAC Study Procedure Manual. The TC for the treatment group (EPAI) received an additional 8 hr of training related to physical activity, including content developed in the " Active Choices " program (Wilcox et al., 2006), which builds on implementing key constructs of social cognitive theory (Wilcox et al., 2006) such as tailoring the physical activity intervention to a person's readiness for change (Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992). "
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