Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Kinesiology


Elizabeth S. Edwards

Sarah Carson Sackett

Trent Hargens



The Effect of a Stage of Change Tailored Intervention on Physical Activity and Psychological States of Older Adults

Introduction: As life expectancy increases in the United States, activity promotion programs aim to help older adults continue to remain happy, healthy, and productive. Programs that facilitate exercise and lifestyle changes can offset regular age-related declines and improve participation in regular fitness programs. Developing more active lifestyles can help the elderly maintain independence in their everyday activities.

Purpose: The goal of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a physical activity intervention tailored to participants’ stage of change on attitudes towards physical activity, self-efficacy, and decisional balance in older adults.

Methods: This project involved teaching a curriculum to a group of older adults at a retirement community with independent and assisted living communities. The course covered a span of 8 weeks during which participants met once per week. The curriculum covered information about health and exercising, processes of change associated with participants’ current stage of change, and instruction of simple exercises. The impact of this intervention was assessed using surveys and a focus group to determine the effectiveness of the curriculum in improving physical activity perceptions and behaviors.

Results: There were five participants enrolled in the course; however, only three had data for both pre-and post-intervention assessments. Two of the three individuals stayed in the maintenance stage throughout the entire course, while one participant started out in preparation, but then progressed to the action stage by the end of the intervention. Significant differences from pre-and post-intervention were not seen for the Modifiable Activity Question (MAQ), Exercise Confidence Survey, or Decisional Balance Scale. However, two participants had an increase in their hours/week and METs*hrs/week of physical activity as reported by the MAQ. Two participants also had an increase in their Exercise Confidence Survey score while the Decisional Balance scale showed that the participants focused slightly less on the cons of exercise following the intervention. The focus group conducted at the end of the intervention revealed that participants liked having specific exercise information sheets and enjoyed the class material and presentation style. The focus group also showed that some participants felt encouraged to continue to exercise and increase their exercise amounts.

Discussion: With the progression in stage placement of the TTM, a person generally perceives physical activity in a more positive way and is more likely to adopt exercise into their lifestyle. In order to assist people in progressing through the stages of change, a tailored intervention may be more effective. This study used staged-matched processes of change discussion to promote more positive attitudes towards exercise as well as a health education curriculum to engage the participants. As a person moves through the TTM stages, they generally increase in their self-efficacy as well as view more advantages to adopting exercise into their regular routine. With a small sample size and resulting limited data, it was difficult to form generalizable conclusions.



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