Online Program

Couples-based approaches to increasing initiation and maintenance of physical activity for older adults with osteoarthritis

Monday, November 2, 2015

Christine Rini, PhD, Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Mary Altpeter, PhD, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Marjorie Margolis, BA, Department of Health Behavior, UNC at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Physical activity is a central component of multimodal treatments for osteoarthritis (OA), a common cause of disability in older adults. Yet, an estimated 76% of Americans with OA do not reach recommended activity levels. Physical activity interventions seek to address this problem. Education is a central feature of these interventions; it focuses on teaching participants how to increase their physical activity safely, overcome barriers to activity, and maintain new activities. Although this knowledge is necessary to produce behavior change, it is not sufficient. Participants who learn educational content but who do not put it to use cannot benefit optimally from interventions. To make interventions as powerful as possible it is necessary to enhance learning and mastery of new information, help learners transform knowledge into behavior change, and help them develop ways to maintain new behaviors. Engaging partners in this effort (i.e., by developing couples-based interventions) may be helpful, but there are benefits and potential pitfalls of involving a partner in a behavioral intervention. We will describe key areas of theory and research from behavioral science interventions for physical activity, focusing on those related to motivation and enduring behavior change. We will also discuss reasons and ways for creating a couples-based intervention and address methods for overcoming difficulties couples may experience as they mobilize and provide support for physical activity. Our discussion will draw on our ongoing study investigating ways that couples work together effectively and ineffectively in physical activity interventions.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe principles from behavioral science theory and research that inform intervention strategies to alter key behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and/or interpersonal processes to improve intervention effectiveness Demonstrate ability to apply these principles to existing physical activity interventions for older adults with osteoarthritis to promote their’ ability to learn and apply information provided in these interventions Formulate ideas for effectively expanding interventions that target individuals to include their spouses/partners as means to increase individual self-efficacy for osteoarthritis management and physical activity

Keyword(s): Aging, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of multiple funded grants (both NIH and other organizations), conducting research related to the proposed presentation, including topics such as physical activity in people with osteoarthritis, pain self-management in people with osteoarthritis, social support processes in couples, and behavioral/psychosocial interventions.
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.