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Effects of a Home-Based DVD-Delivered Physical Activity Program on Self-Esteem in Older Adults: Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial

Awick, Elizabeth Ann MS; Ehlers, Diane PhD; Fanning, Jason MS; Phillips, Siobhan M. PhD; Wójcicki, Thomas PhD; Mackenzie, Michael J. PhD; Motl, Robert PhD; McAuley, Edward PhD

doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000358

Objective Although center-based supervised physical activity interventions have proved to be successful in attenuating health declines in older adults, such methods can be costly and have limited reach. In the present study, we examined the effects of a DVD-delivered exercise intervention on self-esteem and its subdomains and the extent to which these effects were maintained. In addition, we examined whether psychological, demographic, and biological factors acted as determinants of self-esteem.

Methods Low-active, older adults (n = 307; mean [standard deviation] age =71.0 [5.1] years) were randomly assigned to a 6-month, home-based exercise program consisting of a DVD-delivered exercise intervention focused on increasing flexibility, toning, and balance (FlexToBa) or an attentional control DVD condition focused on healthy aging. Physical self-worth and three subdomains of self-esteem, global self-esteem, and self-efficacy were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months.

Results There was a differential effect of time for the two groups for physical self-worth (F interaction(2,530.10) = 4.17, p = .016) and perception of physical condition (F interaction(1,630.77) = 8.31, p = .004). Self-efficacy, sex, body mass index, and age were significant predictors of changes in physical self-worth and perception of physical condition.

Conclusion Our findings suggest that a DVD-delivered exercise intervention is efficacious for improving and maintaining subdomain and domain levels of self-esteem in older adults. In addition, self-efficacy was the strongest predictor of changes in physical self-worth and perceptions of physical condition. This innovative method of delivering an exercise training program via DVD is practical and effective and has the potential for broad reach and dissemination.

Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.govidentifier:NCT01030419.

Supplemental digital content is available in the text.

From the University of Illinois (Awick, Ehlers, Fanning, Motl, McAuley), Urbana-Champaign, Illinois; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (Phillips), Chicago, Illinois; Bellarmine University (Wójcicki), Louisville, Kentucky; and University of Delaware (Mackenzie), Newark, Delaware.

Supplemental Content

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Edward McAuley, PhD, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois, 906 S. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801. E-mail:

Received for publication December 10, 2015; revision received March 10, 2016.

Copyright © 2017 by American Psychosomatic Society
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