Understanding physical activity in Veterans with Parkinson disease: A mixed-methods approach.
INTRODUCTION: Physical activity is critical in Parkinson disease (PD) management, but barriers and motivators of activity in Veterans with PD may be unique. We examined activity habits, including barriers and motivators, in this population. METHODS: Participants completed the Physical Activity Scale in the Elderly (PASE). Compliance with American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations was assessed. Veterans also completed the Exercise Perceptions Questionnaire (EPQ), assessing knowledge, barriers, and motivators of activity. Free-text barriers/motivators were analyzed by the overlapping clusters method. RESULTS: Seventy-five Veterans were recruited; mean age (standard deviation [SD]) was 70.5 (8.2) years and mean disease duration (SD) was 5.4 (5.2) years. Raw median PASE was 120.4 (interquartile range [IQR] 68.8-165.7); age-adjusted median PASE was 135.3. Only 9 Veterans (14.3%) were AHA-compliant. There were trends toward negative association between PASE and UPDRS-3 (r = -0.24, p = 0.06) and between PASE and PDQ-8 (r = -0.23, p = 0.08). Sixty-three subjects (84%) completed the EPQ; 27 (42.9%) preferred scheduled exercise, and only 33 (53.2%) reported that they preferred to exercise with others. Common themes of 46 free-text responses included desire to improve PD symptoms (n = 15, 32.6%) and social engagement (n = 12, 26.1%). CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported activity in Veterans with PD is low, with less than 15% of subjects meeting recommended activity targets. Qualitative analysis of barriers and motivators revealed that although many Veterans enjoy the social aspects of group exercise, they may not feel comfortable in general exercise classes aimed at younger participants without chronic illnesses. These data will be useful in designing Veteran- and/or PD-specific interventions to increase activity levels.
Mantri, S; Wood, S; Duda, JE; Morley, JF
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