248226 Adherence to a Lifestyle Physical Activity Program for Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer's Disease

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Caryn Etkin, PhD, MPH , American Joint Replacement Registry, Rosemont, IL
Amy Eisenstein, MS , College of Nursing, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Carol Farran, DNSc, RN, FAAN , College of Nursing, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Researchers have found that strained caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's Disease are at increased risk for depression, anxiety and negative health behaviors. Engaging in regular physical activity is important for optimal health and the prevention of chronic diseases. Researchers hypothesize that the strenuous role of caregiving and related factors could affect caregiver physical activity. This clinical trial randomly assigned 106 strained, sedentary caregivers to an Enhanced Physical Activity Intervention (EPAI: treatment) group. EPAI is a home- and phone-based intervention providing the caregiver with 20 contacts from a trained Telephone Counselor over 12 months. The goal of EPAI was to increase lifestyle physical activity while addressing caregiving-related concerns that often create barriers to physical activity. EPAI sought to help caregivers find a combination of activities to fit their needs, interests and abilities in order to gradually increase their activity levels. Strategies for increasing physical activity relied on working with caregivers to set short and long-term goals and to self-monitor activity patterns. Consistent with the Surgeon General recommendations, caregivers were encouraged to engage in moderate physical activity 30 minutes/day for most days/week. Additional support from the Telephone Counselor focused on overcoming obstacles and barriers to physical activity brought on by caregiving responsibilities, discussions of practical solutions to overcome them and mechanisms to prevent relapse. We will report preliminary baseline, three- and six-month outcomes and issues faced during EPAI implementation. The process of intervention goal setting and attainment; and challenges faced in assisting caregivers to increase physical activity will also be addressed.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate the necessary components for a successful physical activity intervention for caregivers. 2. Discuss strategies utilized to increase caregiver physical activity. 3. Describe the factors that contribute to adherence to a lifestyle physical activity program.

Keywords: Caregivers, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have been the Project Manager of this clinical trial since it's inception 3 1/2 years ago. I have directed health promotion interventions for older adults for over ten years.
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.