Physical activity (PA) has declined in China due to urbanization in the past two decades. Evidence-based programs are good approaches to promote PA, but are limited in China. Adopting existing programs can be a viable option. Prior to that, readiness assessment is needed. This study aimed to assess community readiness levels for disseminating evidence-based PA programs to older adults in Changsha, China. In-person interviews were conducted with 33 participants of five districts in Changsha to assess the community readiness level in five dimensions: community knowledge of efforts, community climate, community knowledge about the issue, leadership and resources. Data was transcribed, reviewed and compared with an anchored rating scale to provide a stage of readiness score ranging from 1 (no awareness) to 9 (high level of community ownership). Participants included 14 community staff, 13 older adults, four community leaders and three health professionals. The top three barriers to disseminating PA programs were lack of appropriate locations, funding and instructors. The top three resources were availability of indoor space, chairs and loudspeakers. Community leadership was the highest-rated readiness dimension (3.3 out of 9) followed by community climate (3.2), community knowledge of efforts (3.1) and resources (2.8); knowledge about the issue scored the lowest (2.7). The overall community stage readiness score of Changsha was 3.0 out of 9. The stage of readiness for communities in Changsha, China is 'vague awareness'. Developing strategies to improve community readiness levels may increase evidence-based PA program dissemination in Changsha, China.
Keywords: elderly/older adult; evaluation; health promotion; healthy aging; physical activity.