193030 A qualitative study of older adult motivators and barriers from “joiners” and “non-joiners” of four Seattle-based fall prevention and physical activity programs

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pamela Z. Poe, PhD , Communication Department, Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY
Alex Bohl, BA , University of Washington, Health Promotion Research Center, Seattle, WA
Hendrika Meischke, PhD , Health Services, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA
Kristen Hammerback, MA , University of Washington, Health Promotion Research Center, Seattle, WA
Barb Williams, PhD , University of Washington, Health Promotion Research Center, Seattle, WA
Elizabeth A. Phelan, MD, MS , University of Washington, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, WA
Older adults may be able to reduce elder fall injuries by participating in community educational programs to learn about reducing risks and increasing physical activity. This University of Washington research study was created to provide insights into the motivators and barriers that participants cited in their decisions to become “Joiners” or “Non-Joiners” of four no-cost older adult programs for elder fall prevention and physical activity in the Seattle, WA area. The two fall prevention programs, King County EMS Fall Prevention Program (EMS) and Harborview Medical Center Fall Prevention Clinic (HFPC) and two physical activity programs, EnhanceFitness (EF) and Physical Activity for a Lifetime of Success (PALS) were designed as interventions to reduce the likelihood of elder falls and increase physical activity for participants. In order to study and improve the health marketing for these four programs, 76 in-depth interviews were conducted with “Joiners” and “Non-joiners” of all four programs using an instrument to assess participant views on healthy aging, core values, fall prevention, independent living and specific program marketing messages. The resulting data is still undergoing analysis. Preliminary results indicate several key factors for individuals relate to their stated motivators and barriers including: 1) self-efficacy beliefs regarding fall recovery and prevention; 2) physical attributes that prevent or encourage participation; 3) emotional and mental attitudes towards the phenomenon of aging; 4) attitudes towards physical activity as a beneficial lifestyle or negative burden and 5) belief in the usefulness of training to prevent falls.

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify objectives of two community-based programs that train older adults to prevent falls. 2) List characteristics of two programs that train older adults to reduce fall risk by increasing physical activity. 3) Evaluate stated motivators and barriers of older adults who decide to “join” or “not join” fall prevention and physical activity programs.

Keywords: Aging, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am employed as an independent researcher at the University of Washington Health Marketing Research Center (in the Health Promotion Research Center). As a researcher, I specialize in aging and health communication issues, and completed my Ph.D. dissertation and a fellowship with the Dept. of Health and Human Services in this field. I have presented research on aging and health communication at APHA, ICA, NCA, and AMLA conferences, as well as regional conferences, since 2004. My Ph.D. coursework included both Mass Media and Communication (my major field ) and public health coursework at Temple University, for a Ph.D. awarded in 2007.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.