Community group exercise versus physiotherapist-led home-based physical activity program: Barriers, enablers and preferences in middle-aged adults

Nicole FREENE, Gordon WADDINGTON, Wendy Chesworth, Rachel DAVEY, Tom COCHRANE

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose: Barriers and enablers of physical activity have been investigated, but it remains unclear what middle-aged adults' physical activity preferences are. Two physical activity interventions were compared to determine barriers, enablers and preferences for physical activity format in sedentary, community-dwelling 50- to 65-year-olds. Methods: Using mixed methods, 37 Physical Activity at Home (PAAH) participants took part in focus groups at the end of the intervention period and completed the Active Australia Survey (AAS). Participants were divided into three sub-groups: (1) group exercise attendees (GA, n=14); (2) group exercise non-attendees (GNA, n=9); and (3) physiotherapist-led home-based physical activity program attendees (HB, n=14). Focus groups were audio-taped, transcribed, coded and analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Thirty-seven exit telephone calls with GNA were included in the analysis. Results: Cost, self-efficacy, work and carer commitments were major themes identified for GA and GNA. HB participants reported fewer barriers and a number of enablers, including flexibility of the program and physiotherapist instruction. HB and GNA were younger than GA (p<0.05), more likely to be in paid employment and GNA participants were insufficiently active (p0.01). All participants preferred some home-based physical activity, although a variety of formats was indicated. Conclusion: The barriers, enablers and preferences indicate that the physiotherapist-led home-based physical activity program with initial face-to-face contact and telephone support may increase the adoption and maintenance of physical activity in middle-aged adults, particularly for those not interested in, or unable to attend, group exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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