Outlook: A Quarterly Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
Fall 2007 Return to Outlook Main page >>

Spotlight on Special Interest Group

It is Never Too Late to Change:  Exciting Research From the Aging SIG

The Neighborhood Tailored Activity Plans for Seniors (nTAPS) study was undertaken in July 2006 by Jacqueline Kerr, Dori Rosenberg, Jim Sallis, and Kevin Patrick at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University.  The purpose of the study was to test a novel multilevel intervention targeted towards older and more frail older adults living in retirement communities.  Twelve participants between ages 70 and 92 (Mean age = 84 years) were recruited from a retirement facility and completed all measures.  The 2-week intervention was tailored to the individual (using brief individual counseling focusing on goal setting to increase step counts by 10% each week) and residential site (with specially designed walking maps).  Pedometers were worn for self-monitoring and for the primary outcome (steps per day).  Surveys at pre- and post-intervention assessed daily activities, benefits, barriers, route use, quality of life, and satisfaction.  Results showed that mean steps per day increased between baseline (M = 3020; SD = 1858), week 1 (M = 4314; SD = 2627) and week 2 (M = 4246; SD = 2331) (all p’s < .02). Step counts between weeks 1 and 2 did not differ (p = .79).  The researchers concluded that a novel multilevel site-specific intervention is feasible and acceptable for increasing steps among seniors living in a retirement community.  A larger randomized pilot study based on these findings is currently being conducted in 4 retirement communities and results will be available at the end of 2007.

Dori Rosenberg, MPH, MS
Graduate Student
Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology UCSD/SDSU
3900 Fifth Avenue, Suite 310
San Diego, CA 92103