Long-term maintenance of increased exercise involvement following a self-management intervention for housebound older adults with arthritis

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2007 Jun 4;4:22. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-4-22.


Background: Sustained maintenance of health behaviors is a determinant of successful symptom reduction strategies for older adults with arthritis. This study examined whether or not short-term improvements in exercise involvement were maintained 8 months following a home-based arthritis self-management intervention as well as the moderating role of individual characteristics in the maintenance of behavior change.

Methods: Of the 113 housebound older adult participants at pre-intervention, 97 completed the post-intervention interview, and 80 completed the 8-month post-intervention interview.

Results: Some post-intervention improvements in exercise involvement were maintained 8 months later. More specifically, weekly exercise frequency, particularly regarding walking frequency, and variety of exercise activities were still significantly greater in the experimental group than in the control group 8 months following the completion of the intervention. No moderating influences were observed for any of the individual characteristics.

Conclusion: We conclude that gains in exercise involvement achieved through a self-management intervention can be maintained 8 months following the intervention.