Attitudes of older adults in a group-based exercise program toward a blended intervention: a focus-group study


<p>Ageing is associated with a decline in daily functioning and mobility. A physically active life and physical exercise can minimize the decline of daily functioning and improve the physical-, psychological- and social functioning of older adults. Despite several advantages of group-based exercise programs, older adults participating in such interventions often do not meet the frequency, intensity or duration of exercises needed to gain health benefits. An exercise program that combines the advantages of group-based exercises led by an instructor with tailored home-based exercises can increase the effectiveness. Technology can assist in delivering a personalized program. The aim of the study was to determine the susceptibility of older adults currently participating in a nationwide group-based exercise program to such a blended exercise program. Eight focus-groups were held with adults of 55 years of age or older. Two researchers coded independently the remarks of the 30 participants that were included in the analysis according to the three key concepts of the Self Determination Theory: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The results show that maintaining self-reliance and keeping in touch with others were the main motives to participate in the weekly group-based exercises. Participants recognized benefits of doing additional home-based exercises, but had concerns regarding guidance, safety, and motivation. Furthermore, some participants strongly rejected the idea to use technology to support them in doing exercises at home, but the majority was open to it. Insights are discussed how these findings can help design novel interventions that can increase the wellbeing of older adults and preserve an independent living.</p>

Reference Mehra, S., Dadema, T., Kröse, B. J. A., Visser, B., Engelbert, R. H. H., Van Den Helder, J., & Weijs, P. J. M. (2016). Attitudes of older adults in a group-based exercise program toward a blended intervention: a focus-group study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 1827.
1 November 2016

Publication date

Nov 2016


Sumit Mehra
Tessa Dadema
Ben J A Kröse


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