Comparing preferences to evaluations of barrier self-efficacy for two strength training programs in US older adults

Jordan D. Kurth, Christopher N. Sciamanna, Cheyenne Herrell, Matthew Moeller, Jonathan G. Stine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Objectives Engagement in regular physical activity is one of the best strategies for older adults to remain healthy. Unfortunately, only 35% of older adults meet guidelines for muscle strengthening activities. Eliciting participant preferences is one possible way to improve physical activity engagement. However, other sources of participant input to improve uptake and maintenance remain uninvestigated. This study compared preferences to self-efficacy ratings for two strength training programs. Methods We conducted a national cross-sectional survey of 611 US adults over age 65. We compared two participant evaluations (the preferred program and the program for which they had higher barrier self-efficacy) of two hypothetical strength training programs (45 minutes performed three times per week (traditional) and 5 minutes performed daily (brief)). Results Most participants (68%) preferred the brief strength training program. The difference in self-efficacy ratings was an average of 1.2 (SD = 0.92). One in five participants preferred a strength training program for which they had less self-efficacy; nearly all of these participants (92%) preferred the traditional strength training program but had more self-efficacy for the brief strength training program. Conclusion Older adults reported preferring and having more self-efficacy for a brief compared to a traditional strength training program. Differences in self-efficacy ratings between the two strength training programs were large. Preferences were often not congruent with ratings of self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0302892
JournalPloS one
Issue number5 May
StatePublished - May 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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