Combining Motivational and Physical Intervention Components to Promote Fall-Reducing Physical Activity Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Feasibility Study

Siobhan Kathleen McMahon, Jean F. Wyman, Michael J. Belyea, Nelma Shearer, Eric B. Hekler, Julie Fleury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose. To assess the feasibility of a new intervention, Ready~Steady, in terms of demand, acceptability, implementation, and limited efficacy. Design. Randomized controlled trial; repeated measures. Setting. Two rural communities in Itasca County, Minnesota. Subjects. Thirty participants were randomized to an intervention (n ¼ 16) or attention-control (n ¼ 14) group. Intervention. Ready~Steady combined two components: (1) motivational (motivational support, social network support, empowering education), and (2) fall-reducing physical activities (PAs; guidance to practice leg-strengthening, balance, and flexibility activities and walking). Measures. Acceptability questionnaire and Indices of Procedural Consistency (investigator developed), Community Health Activity Model Program for Seniors Questionnaire (confirmed with accelerometry), Short Physical Performance Battery, Perceived Environmental Support Scale, Social Support for Exercise Questionnaire, Goal Attainment Scale, Index of Readiness, and Index of Self-Regulation. Analysis. Descriptive statistics and a marginal approach to repeated-measures analysis of variance, using mixed-model procedures. Results. Attrition was 7% and mean attendance was 7.2 of 8 sessions, participants evaluated Ready~Steady as acceptable, and implementation fidelity was good. The intervention group improved significantly more than the attention-control group in PA behavior, F1,27 ¼ 11.92, p ¼.002; fall risk (functional balance and strength), F1,27 ¼ 14.89, p ¼.001; support for exercise from friends, F1,27 ¼ 11.44, p ¼.002; and self-regulation, F1,26 ¼ 38.82, p,.005. Conclusion. The Ready~Steady intervention was feasible as evidenced by low attrition and good attendance and implementation, as well as positive effects on targeted outcomes and theoretical mechanisms of change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-644
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Pre-Doctoral Scholarship Program, and the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research Grant #F31NR01235.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by American Journal of Health Promotion, Inc.


  • Accidental Falls, Physical Activity, Motivation, Wellness Programs, Intervention Studies, Prevention Research. Manuscript format: research, quantitative evaluation
  • Health focus: physical activity, fall prevention
  • Outcome measure: physical activity behavior
  • Research purpose: feasibility study
  • Setting: rural communities
  • Strategy: skill building/behavioral change
  • Study design: randomized controlled trial
  • Target population age: seniors
  • Target population circumstances: community-dwelling


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