Determinents of Lifestyle Physical Activity in Older Rural Adults: Testing of Four Questionnaires

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Published in The Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference of the Southern Nursing Research Society

Conference Proceedings

Lifestyle physical activity (LPA) encourages integration of more physical activity behaviors by increasing the number of short sessions of moderate activity daily. Although there are known benefits of physical activity, inactivity increases progressively with age. Underlying reasons for high inactivity levels and associated factors are poorly understood, and greater understanding is needed to develop interventions for vulnerable populations of rural elders. OBJECTIVE: This study tested four instruments, adapted from standard exercise tools, to measure self-efficacy expectations (SE), outcome expectations (OE), and social support (SS) associated with LPA. METHOD: The four instruments were tested for reliability, readability and user burden in a convenience sample of 99 rural hypertensive elders. The Self-Efficacy for LPA (SELPA) focuses on SE related to the ability to continue to perform short sessions of physical activity in the face of barriers to performing activity. The Outcome Expectations for LPA (OELPA) focuses on the perceived consequences of LPA for elders. The Family (FamSSLPA) and Friend Support for LPA (FriSSLPA) scales measure the degree of SS received specific to LPA. Total instrument reliability was assessed by Cronbach’s alpha on each instrument. Readability and user burden were examined by asking participants to evaluate each instrument. RESULTS: Individual scale internal consistency coefficients were .89 for SELPA; .91 for OELPA; .91 for FamSSLPA; and .90 for FriSSLPA. Participant comments indicated that SS scales were easiest to understand and the SELPA questionnaire the most difficult to understand. Length of time (20–30 minutes) to complete the instruments was considered acceptable. DISCUSSION: Testing provided evidence for good internal consistency reliability of each scale. Future testing of the scales should include subjects from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. These instruments are appropriate for future research on LPA in this population. Findings contribute to the instrumentation essential to develop and test theory-based interventions to improve LPA.


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