Individual counseling to promote physical activity

TitleIndividual counseling to promote physical activity
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsHudec, JC
PublisherUnpublished doctoral dissertation
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0419-4209
Accession Number2000-95017-096
Keywordsdevelopment & evaluation of individual counseling intervention to promote physical activity, 35–55 yr old male university staff & faculty members, Canada, Exercise, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Individual Psychotherapy, physical activity

The transtheoretical model of behavior change provides a structure to use the best of many interventions to aid individuals to initiate and maintain physical activity (Prochaska, 1979). The intervention developed and evaluated in this study is a flexible series of counseling strategies aimed at helping those in the precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, or maintenance stages of that model to live an active life. Short-term counseling (Janis, 1983) and motivational interviewing (Miller & Rollnick, 1991) formed the basis for the individual counseling intervention. A stage specific intervention was applied to the five stages of physical activity behavior change. Informants were purposefully selected by proactive calls made to male staff and faculty members at a large western Canadian university. Informants were between 35 and 55 years of age. The intervention was evaluated at three points by conducting intensive ethnographic interviews which were transcribed and analyzed using content analysis. Where changes in behavior were expected, exercise behavior was evaluated by continuous single-subject logging. The single-subject data were presented graphically and evaluated by visual analyses. The intervention applied during Study One utilized counseling tools primarily to influence cognitive change. In the first study, each of the informants in precontemplation and contemplation made positive progress along the stage continuum. Although the informants in all three stages reported some positive changes in beliefs towards physical activity, the intervention was less positively reviewed by those in the preparation stage. The intervention for study two was modified based on the findings of the first study to encompass a broad range of physical activity measurement. In the second study the revised intervention with greater emphasis on behavioral processes had more positive influences on the beliefs and behavior of preparers. This intervention was also positively received by those in action and maintenance. Four of the six informants in the preparation and action stages reported positive changes in their stage following the intervention. In terms of strictly defined exercise behavior change, all but one informant reported positive effects associated with the intervention. The changes did not follow step-like progress which limited interpretations based on the single-subject methodology. Consequently, the quantitative data on attitudes and behavior were integrated with the qualitative information in conducting a series of in-depth case studies. As with stage change and beliefs, the latency and duration of changes in exercise behavior demonstrated individual variability. All informants perceived and reported positive effects of the intervention. These effects were supported by independent critiques of their individual data interpretations. Suggestions were presented to improve future counseling interventions and refine continued physical activity behavior research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

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