Investigating the outcomes of a physical activity program offered to older adults in South Florida and understanding the correlates of completion

Anamica Batra, Florida International University

Abstract

Despite the well-known benefits of physical activity, in 2012, only 37.5% of older adults aged 60 years or older met recommended aerobic physical activity levels and 16.1% met muscle-strengthening guidelines. Effective exercise programs can help combat the problem of inactivity but 50% of those who start participating in an exercise program drop out within first few weeks, preventing them from gaining any health benefits. Since fall 2008, the Healthy Aging Regional Collaborative of South Florida has offered EnhanceFitness (EF), an evidence-based physical activity program to older adults. This dissertation compared EF effectiveness at 4-, 8-, and 12-months and examined the factors that were associated with program completion. A paired sample t-test identified changes at 4-months and repeated measures design was used to identify changes from baseline to 4-, 8-, and 12- months. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates associated with completion.^ Between October 1, 2008 and December 31, 2012, 4,531 older adults (>=60 years) attended one or more EF sessions. Participants showed significant improvement in the number of chair stands performed in 30-seconds with mean change of 1.7, 1.6, and 2.0 respectively at 4-,8-,and 12- months (p<0.001). Results suggest Black, non-Haitian men were less likely to complete the program when compared to white, non-Hispanic men (OR=0.41, p=0.02). Men who self-reported having at least one risk factor were more likely to complete the program (OR=1.81, p= 0.03). In addition, women who lived in Miami-Dade County (OR=2.13, p<0.001) and were 80 years or older (OR=1.46, p<0.05) were more likely to complete the program. When compared with non-Hispanic whites, Black women were less likely to complete the program (OR=0.613, p<0.01). Women who did not report depression were 1.6 times more likely to complete the program (OR=1.62, p<0.05). Absence of risk factors for chronic conditions increased completion rates among women (OR=1.63, p<0.01).^ Effectiveness results revealed that all participants significantly improved on all outcome measures. However, improvement is more than double for those who completed recommended sessions (p<0.01). Study findings reaffirm the successful translation of EF in community-based settings. Our findings suggest that participants should attend the minimum recommended sessions to attain greater health benefits.^

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Batra, Anamica, "Investigating the outcomes of a physical activity program offered to older adults in South Florida and understanding the correlates of completion" (2015). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3721448.
https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3721448

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