Older adults' utilization of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity

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Abstract

Background and Objectives: Despite the availability of community resources, fall and inactivity rates remain high among older adults. Thus, in this article, we describe older adults' self-reported awareness and use of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity. Research Design and Methods: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted in Phase 1 with community center leaders (n = 5) and adults (n = 16) ≥70 years old whose experience with community programs varied. In Phase 2, surveys were administered to intervention study participants (n = 102) who were ≥70 years old, did not have a diagnosis of dementia, and reported low levels of physical activity. Results: Four themes emerged from Phase 1 data: (a) identifying a broad range of local community resources; (b) learning from trusted sources; (c) the dynamic gap between awareness and use of community resources; and (d) using internal resources to avoid falls. Phase 2 data confirmed these themes; enabled the categorization of similar participant-identified resources (10); and showed that participants who received encouragement to increase community resource use, compared to those who did not, had significantly greater odds of using ≥1 resource immediately postintervention, but not 6 months' postintervention. Discussion and Implications: Although participants in this study were aware of a broad range of local community resources for physical activity, they used resources that support walking most frequently. Additionally, receiving encouragement to use community resources had short-term effects only. Findings improve our understanding of resources that need bolstering or better dissemination and suggest researchers identify best promotion, dissemination, implementation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-446
Number of pages11
JournalGerontologist
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Community-based services
  • Falls
  • Mixed methods
  • Physical activity

Cite this

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title = "Older adults' utilization of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity",
abstract = "Background and Objectives: Despite the availability of community resources, fall and inactivity rates remain high among older adults. Thus, in this article, we describe older adults' self-reported awareness and use of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity. Research Design and Methods: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted in Phase 1 with community center leaders (n = 5) and adults (n = 16) ≥70 years old whose experience with community programs varied. In Phase 2, surveys were administered to intervention study participants (n = 102) who were ≥70 years old, did not have a diagnosis of dementia, and reported low levels of physical activity. Results: Four themes emerged from Phase 1 data: (a) identifying a broad range of local community resources; (b) learning from trusted sources; (c) the dynamic gap between awareness and use of community resources; and (d) using internal resources to avoid falls. Phase 2 data confirmed these themes; enabled the categorization of similar participant-identified resources (10); and showed that participants who received encouragement to increase community resource use, compared to those who did not, had significantly greater odds of using ≥1 resource immediately postintervention, but not 6 months' postintervention. Discussion and Implications: Although participants in this study were aware of a broad range of local community resources for physical activity, they used resources that support walking most frequently. Additionally, receiving encouragement to use community resources had short-term effects only. Findings improve our understanding of resources that need bolstering or better dissemination and suggest researchers identify best promotion, dissemination, implementation strategies.",
keywords = "Community-based services, Falls, Mixed methods, Physical activity",
author = "McMahon, {Siobhan K.} and Park, {Young Shin} and Beth Lewis and Weihua Guan and {Michael Oakes}, J. and Wyman, {Jean F.} and Rothman, {Alexander J.}",
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AU - Park, Young Shin

AU - Lewis, Beth

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AU - Rothman, Alexander J.

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N2 - Background and Objectives: Despite the availability of community resources, fall and inactivity rates remain high among older adults. Thus, in this article, we describe older adults' self-reported awareness and use of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity. Research Design and Methods: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted in Phase 1 with community center leaders (n = 5) and adults (n = 16) ≥70 years old whose experience with community programs varied. In Phase 2, surveys were administered to intervention study participants (n = 102) who were ≥70 years old, did not have a diagnosis of dementia, and reported low levels of physical activity. Results: Four themes emerged from Phase 1 data: (a) identifying a broad range of local community resources; (b) learning from trusted sources; (c) the dynamic gap between awareness and use of community resources; and (d) using internal resources to avoid falls. Phase 2 data confirmed these themes; enabled the categorization of similar participant-identified resources (10); and showed that participants who received encouragement to increase community resource use, compared to those who did not, had significantly greater odds of using ≥1 resource immediately postintervention, but not 6 months' postintervention. Discussion and Implications: Although participants in this study were aware of a broad range of local community resources for physical activity, they used resources that support walking most frequently. Additionally, receiving encouragement to use community resources had short-term effects only. Findings improve our understanding of resources that need bolstering or better dissemination and suggest researchers identify best promotion, dissemination, implementation strategies.

AB - Background and Objectives: Despite the availability of community resources, fall and inactivity rates remain high among older adults. Thus, in this article, we describe older adults' self-reported awareness and use of community resources targeting fall prevention and physical activity. Research Design and Methods: In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted in Phase 1 with community center leaders (n = 5) and adults (n = 16) ≥70 years old whose experience with community programs varied. In Phase 2, surveys were administered to intervention study participants (n = 102) who were ≥70 years old, did not have a diagnosis of dementia, and reported low levels of physical activity. Results: Four themes emerged from Phase 1 data: (a) identifying a broad range of local community resources; (b) learning from trusted sources; (c) the dynamic gap between awareness and use of community resources; and (d) using internal resources to avoid falls. Phase 2 data confirmed these themes; enabled the categorization of similar participant-identified resources (10); and showed that participants who received encouragement to increase community resource use, compared to those who did not, had significantly greater odds of using ≥1 resource immediately postintervention, but not 6 months' postintervention. Discussion and Implications: Although participants in this study were aware of a broad range of local community resources for physical activity, they used resources that support walking most frequently. Additionally, receiving encouragement to use community resources had short-term effects only. Findings improve our understanding of resources that need bolstering or better dissemination and suggest researchers identify best promotion, dissemination, implementation strategies.

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