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Randomized Trial of 2 Interventions to Increase Older Women's Exercise

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Objective: To test 2 interventions to increase older women's physical activity. Methods: A randomized 2-way factorial experimental design compared the effects of 2 limited-contact interventions, motivational sessions and periodic prompts, among 190 women. Experimental participants received a 3-encounter motivational intervention. Those randomized to prompts received weekly telephone or mail-delivered cues. Results: The prompting intervention consistently increased exercise and physical activity scores. The motivational intervention did not affect outcome scores. Conclusions: Prompting is a low-cost strategy for increasing exercise and physical activity among older women. Future research should examine alternative modes for prompt delivery.

Keywords: exercise; intervention; older women

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. 2: Department of Physical Therapy, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. 3: Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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