Predictors of older primary care patients' participation in a submaximal exercise test and a supervised, low-impact exercise class

Prev Med. 2001 Nov;33(5):485-94. doi: 10.1006/pmed.2001.0919.


Objectives: This study is an investigation of physical activity promotion among a nonvolunteer sample of community-dwelling, older, urban primary care patients. Our primary interest was in the rates of exercise test and class participation. Of secondary interest were the medical record and baseline survey predictors of test and class participation.

Methods: The first 500 nonterminally ill women ages 50 years or more with a visit at one of two predominantly African-American, inner-city primary care clinics received a physician screen, a referral to a submaximal exercise test, and, subsequently, a free, supervised exercise program located in a nearby community center.

Results: Eighty-one percent were eligible for the exercise test per provider screen. Of these, 29% completed the exercise test and 28% attended at least one exercise class. After 1 year, 9.2% were attending the exercise classes. Higher exercise outcome expectations, not smoking, and clinic site were associated with exercise test and class participation.

Conclusions: Providing free, traditional exercise classes and a primary care referral to the classes resulted in limited physical activity participation among older, urban primary care patients. More development and testing of physical activity promotion programs are needed in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Exercise Test / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior* / ethnology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Support
  • United States
  • Urban Population