The Study of Exercise and Nutrition in Older Rhode Islanders (SENIOR): Translating theory into research

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Date of Original Version



Innovative and effective health promotion interventions targeted on older adults within a public health framework will be increasingly important as the US population ages dramatically. The benefits of healthier lifestyles for older adults include increased functional ability and improved quality of life. The Study of Exercise and Nutrition in Older Rhode Islanders (SENIOR) Project is a multi-behavioral health promotion intervention for community-dwelling older adults focusing on increasing exercise and fruit and vegetable consumption. Intervention materials are stage-tailored for each individual, and include manuals, newsletters, expert system assessments and reports, and telephone coaching. The primary purpose of the SENIOR Project is to investigate the relative effectiveness of a multiple-behavior intervention - based on a single theoretical framework - compared to single-behavior interventions. The secondary purposes are to investigate the intervention's effects on both functional ability and general health outcomes, and how older adults move along a continuum of changing health behaviors. The Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change, the conceptual framework for the SENIOR Project, was chosen for the following reasons: performance potential with older adults, individual tailoring on a stage basis, technological features, and interdisciplinary research base and community partnership.

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Health Education Research