Long-term Maintenance of Increased Exercise Involvement Following a Self Management Intervention for Housebound Older Adults with Arthritis
The purpose of this follow-up study was to assess whether short-term changes in exercise choice and frequency could be maintained 8 months after a self-management intervention called "I’m taking charge of my Arthritis!".
One hundred and thirteen housebound older adults living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis participated in the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to either an experimental (n=65) group, who received the intervention, or a one-year wait list control (n=48) group.
The experimental group participated in the "I’m Taking Charge of my Arthritis" intervention, which consisted of six one-hour home sessions facilitated by trained health practitioners. During the follow-up, eight trained interviewers, blind to group allocation and to the intervention’s specific objectives, administered questionnaires to participants in their homes.
Results of this study showed that 8 months post self-management intervention, behavior changes such as weekly frequency and choice of exercises was maintained. Individual characteristics were also found to have no effect on long-term maintenance.
The findings of this study indicate that significant improvements in exercise levels and the long-term maintenance of behaviors can be achieved through a self-management intervention with this target population. Home interventions may also have a strong impact on the facilitation of learning and adoption of behaviors. Wide scale interventions such as this may make a significant contribution to the management of disability among those suffering from arthritis.
To read the full article, go to (International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Volume 4)