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What do older adults think about when formulating implementation intentions for physical activity? Evidence from a qualitative study.

Bösch, V.D., Warner, L.M., Nyman, S. R., Haftenberger, J., Clarke, K. and Inauen, J., 2022. What do older adults think about when formulating implementation intentions for physical activity? Evidence from a qualitative study. British Journal of Health Psychology. (In Press)

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British J Health Psychol_2022_What do older adults.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12621


Objectives: Physical activity is an important health behaviour especially for older adults. Forming implementation intentions is an effective strategy to implement physical activity in daily life for young and middle-aged adults. However, evidence for older adults is inconclusive. This study explored the thoughts of older adults about implementation intentions and potential barriers and facilitators while formulating them. Methods: Three samples of older adults from the United Kingdom (n = 8), Germany (n = 9) and Switzerland (n = 17) were prompted to think aloud while formulating implementation intentions to be more physically active. After the task, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Participants expressed pre-established thoughts about implementation intentions (e.g. they feel too restrictive). During the formulation of implementation intentions, several barriers to creating them were reported (e.g. problems with finding cues due to absence of recurring daily routines), but participants also mentioned that forming implementation intentions acted as a facilitator for physical activity (e.g. cues as useful reminders to be active, task itself triggering self-reflection about physical activity). After the task, participants reflected on circumstances that decrease the likelihood of enacting implementation intentions (e.g. spontaneous alternative activities, weather, health-related barriers, Covid-19-related barriers), which triggered spontaneous coping planning. Conclusions: The results on barriers and facilitators of implementation intentions and physical activity from older adults' perspectives provide starting points for improving instructions for older adults on how to create implementation intentions for physical activity. Future studies are needed to investigate whether the findings extend to implementation intentions for other behaviours.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Article Funding Open access funding provided by Universitat Bern.
Uncontrolled Keywords:beliefs; implementation intentions; older adults; physical activity; qualitative; think aloud
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:37442
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:05 Sep 2022 15:32
Last Modified:05 Sep 2022 15:32


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