Determinants of Physical Activity in Older Adults with Peripheral Vascular Disease

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Dusty Filliung, BSN, MS
School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the relationship between functional ability and peripheral vascular disease.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand predictors of physical activity in older adults with peripheral vascular disease.

Purpose: Functional impairment limits participation in leisure activities and decreases the ability to perform activities of daily living for older adults with peripheral vascular disease (PVD). The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) has been found to explain older adult physical activity (PA). The determinants of PA are unclear for older adults with PVD.To examine a modified TPB model to identify the determinants of PA for older adults with PVD. Methods: Older adults with PVD (n=132), 66-97 years old (M age=75.8 years, 6.5), completed a cross-sectional survey. Measures included the TPB questionnaire, Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly and the Physical Functioning Scale. Results: The sample was mostly sedentary (M PA score=96.7, 58.9) with moderate limitations (M=55.8, 28.8) in functional ability (scores were 0=unable to do to 100=no difficulty). Linear regression analyses revealed that the modified TPB model that included functional ability explained 64% of the variance in intention to be physically active (p<.05) and 35% of the variance in PA behavior (p<.01). Attitude had the greatest influence on intention (β=.51, p<.01), followed by subjective norm, perceived behavioral control and functional ability (β=.17, β=.17, β=.15, p<.05, respectively). Functional ability was the strongest predictor of PA (β=.39, p<.01), followed by intention (β=.24, p<.01). This population of older adults with PVD identified moderate difficulty in each functional ability task measured including performing heavy housework (M=46.5, 37.5), walking (M=50, 35), climbing stairs (M=53, 31), lifting/carrying 10 lb. (M=53, 34.6), light housework (M=66, 32.8), and rising from a chair (M=67.7, 29). Conclusion: Exercises that promote increasing functional ability, with emphasis on activities related to daily living such as walking, stair climbing and housework, should be incorporated into the management of older adults with PVD.