PHS Theses

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    The relationship between internet use, self-efficacy, health literacy and health
    (Wichita State University, 2013-12) Watson, Linda Alane; Rogers, Nicole L.
    Over the last few years, Internet use has expanded to the older adult population, according to the Pew Internet Project, 53% of adults aged 65 and over are now online (2012). Once online, studies have suggested that seeking out health information is one of the most popular online activities for adults. The purpose of this study was to better understand the potential of older adults improving their health literacy through the gathering of Internet-based health information. This project was designed to evaluate the relationship between Internet use, Internet self-efficacy, health literacy, and health status among adults aged 50 years and older. One hundred and eighty three men and women (mean age = 75.01 plus/minus 10.53 yrs) were recruited from local community programs, senior centers, and retirement communities. Participants completed five questionnaires. Based on results participants were separated into two groups: health literate and low health literate. There was no difference between the groups and the level of health literacy and self-reported health. There was a trend for the health literate participants to report greater self-rated health. The largest differences were observed for physical and emotional limitations. Health literate participants achieved a higher level of education. Results suggest that regardless of level of health literacy, the older adults in this sample had similar experience with computer/Internet use and ownership. With respect to self-efficacy, differences were noted for the variable addressing the gathering of information, but none of the other variables.
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    The impact of active lifestyle on functional fitness level of older women
    (Wichita State University, 2012-07) Ofei-Dodoo, Samuel; Rogers, Nicole L.
    As adults reach advanced ages, the purpose of physical activity may shift from disease prevention to functional fitness and mobility. The purpose of the study is to test the hypothesis that engaging in an active lifestyle is associated with higher functional fitness in older women. Functional fitness was assessed by the Senior Fitness Test in 125 women (73.42 ± 8.84 yrs). Participants wore an accelerometer for 7 days without altering their normal activity. Accelerometer data were downloaded, moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) determined via proprietary filtering, and time spent in each intensity was calculated. A 5 day average of time spent in MVPA was organized into 4 groups. Frequency distributions were calculated to examine the number of participants meeting ACSM recommendation for MVPA. With respect to MVPA, only 18% of participants met ACSM recommendations by engaging in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity for at least 5 days per week. Nearly half of the participants were classified as normal on most functional measures. To determine if a relationship existed between the participants 5 day MVPA, functional fitness, age and weight, correlation coefficients were calculated. The strongest relationships were found between MVPA and the 6 min walk (r = 0.52, p ≤ 0.001), chair stands (r = 0.46, p ≤ 0.001), and up & go (r = -0.44, p ≤ 0.001). To determine if engaging in an active lifestyle is associated with higher functional fitness, participants were grouped by time spent in moderate intensity physical activity to determine a cut-off on improvement observed in functional fitness. MVPA group comparisons were made using one-way ANOVAs with follow-up Post Hoc analysis. The results revealed significant differences between groups on all measures except sit and reach. The one-way ANOVA indicated a threshold of 20 minutes for the 6 min walk, chair stand, and up & go. With regard to upper body strength and flexibility, less than 10 min of MVPA was observed to be detrimental to performance.
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    Assessment of community fall prevention toolkit
    (Wichita State University, 2012-05) Keuter, Kayla R.; Rogers, Nicole L.
    Falls are the leading cause of injury among adults age 65 years and older. Falls in older adults result in physical disability, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Risk factors for falls include: poor vision, polypharmacy, home safety hazards, and lack of strength and balance. Strategic plans have been proposed to reduce risk factors. The Centers for Disease Control and the National Council of Aging recommend routine vision exams, medication reviews, home safety evaluations, and routine exercise. Based on these guidelines, the Wichita State University Regional Institute on Aging Falling LinKS research group developed a toolkit to be used independently by older adults to reduce their risk of falling. However, providing older adults with a well-designed product does not ensure its use. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a locally developed toolkit, Falling Less in Kansas; to determine if it is easy to use and is satisfying to the user. We also inquired about preferential venues of distribution for the toolkit. Four focus group sessions, recruited from two urban organizations and two rural health clinics, were conducted. In addition, six older adults from a rural community participated in a usability test to determine the ease of use of the toolkit. Although the participants felt the toolkit was attractive, well organized, and easy to use, they thought it may contain too much information. Interestingly, the majority of participants admitted they would not actively use the toolkit on their own, but would need it introduced to them by a health care provider (primary care provider or pharmacist) or in a social setting.
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    Increasing the physical activity level in older women
    (Wichita State University, 2012-05) Gurnsey, Jennifer; Rogers, Nicole L.
    The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends older adults (OA) spend 30min/5d/wk engaging in moderate intensity physical activity (MVPA). PURPOSE: To determine the efficacy of detailed feedback (FB) to increase OA time spent in MVPA compared to a verbal recommendation (VREC) and control (CON) group. METHODS: Sixty-eight women recruited from senior-based programs for an 8-wk, 3-intervention arm trial, were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: VREC, FB, and CON. Individuals meeting ACSM recommendations were excluded. All participants wore an accelerometer (ACCEL) to monitor 8 weeks of daily physical activity. VREC were read/received ACSM recommendations similar to mass media dialogue promoting MVPA and asked to meet recommendations by the 8-wk point. FB walked 3 d/wk on a monitored indoor walking track, and on their own 2 d/wk. FB received all VREC procedures, received MVPA walking instruction (HR monitored) and weekly ACCEL feedback (time spent in MVPA and MVPA goals for the next wk). CON continued their normal activities. RESULTS: Differences were noted between all 3 groups at Week 4 (p ≤ 0.05) and Week 8 (p ≤ 0.05). This reflects improvement in both the FB and VREC as well as a greater improvement by the FB compared to VREC. FB improved 264% over 8 weeks. VREC improved 85% from baseline to Week 8. There was no change in the CON. Difference between groups with respect to meeting ACSM recommendations (yes/no) were noted (, p ≤ 0.01). The only group to improve was FB. CONCLUSIONS: Providing simple feedback significantly improved time spent in moderate intensity physical activity by the 4th week. Based on the results of this study, which indicate that the detailed feedback is more effective than recommendation alone, this walking program should be implemented by healthcare providers as a means to improve the amount of moderate intensity physical activity engaged in by older adults.