Physical Activity Program Delivery by Professionals Versus Volunteers: The TEAM Randomized Trial

Cynthia M. Castro, Leslie A. Pruitt, Matthew P. Buman, Abby C. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Older adults have low rates of physical activity participation, but respond positively to telephone-mediated support programs. Programs are often limited by reliance on professional staff. This study tested telephone-based physical activity advice delivered by professional staff versus trained volunteer peer mentors. Design: A 12-month, randomized, controlled clinical trial was executed from 2003-2008. Twelve volunteer peer mentors and 181 initially inactive adults ages 50 years and older were recruited from the San Francisco Bay Area. Participants were randomized to: (1) telephone-based physical activity advice delivered by professional staff, (2) telephone-based physical activity advice delivered by trained volunteer peers, or (3) an attention-control arm of staff-delivered telephone support for nutrition. Main Outcome Measures: Moderate-intensity or more vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was assessed at baseline, 6, and 12 months with the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) Questionnaire, with accelerometry validation (Actigraph) in a randomly selected subsample. Treatment fidelity was examined through analysis of quantity and quality of intervention delivery. Results: At 6 and 12 months, both physical activity arms significantly increased MVPA relative to the control arm. Both physical activity arms were comparable in quantity of intervention delivery, but peers demonstrated more versatility and comprehensiveness in quality of intervention content. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that trained peer volunteers can effectively promote physical activity increases through telephone-based advice. The results support a program delivery model with good dissemination potential for a variety of community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Peer mentors
  • Physical activity
  • Telephone
  • Volunteers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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