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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

UIC: Research Outlines Implementation of Senior Physical Fitness Program in Portugal

Fit & Strong! is a physical activity/behavior change evidence-based intervention for persons with osteoarthritis (OA) that was developed and tested in USA.  New research published in the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine, co-authored by Dr. Susan Hughes, professor of community health sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health, examines the implementation of a culturally-adapted version of Fit & Strong! and documents the new features of the program.

Steps for cultural adaptation included training the Portuguese research team, materials translation, needs assessment which includes literature review, focus group with older adults with lower extremity joint pain, interviews with experts about Fit & Strong! format and content, program instructor training, and pilot study and program implementation.

Findings indicated needed changes to the original Fit & Strong! program protocol. In the manuals, language was simplified and more pictures added to be suitable for people with lower level of literacy. Also, practical examples described in manuals were adjusted or substituted to better fit the Portuguese culture. As a description of Portuguese organizations in the field, thermal spa and Mediterranean diet were added to the manual. The authors recommend using two instructors to address individual challenges during the sessions.

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