A study of the Health-promoting behavioral effects of an exercise educational intervention in adult diabetics




Wisnewski, Charlotte

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The purpose of this study was to investigate if using a health promotion approach when teaching adult diabetics the importance of exercise would have a positive effect on the healthy behaviors in which they engage and increase exercise participation, The framework of the study was guided by the Pender (1987) Health Promotion Model.

The design was a quasi-experimental, pre-test post-test design. Participants were volunteers from diabetic education support group classes at four hospitals (n = 95). The majority were Caucasians and possessed at least a high school education. The independent variable was the exercise teaching intervention and dependent variables were health promotion and exercise behaviors. Health promotion behavior was measured by the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile (Walker, Sechrist, and Pender, 1987); exercise behavior was measured by The Physical Functioning subscale of the MOS 36-Item Health Survey (Ware and Sherbourne, 1992) and a one-item question on exercise behavior change.

Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to examine relationships. The findings indicate that there is a correlation between post-health promotion scores (PHPLP) and post-physical functioning (r=0.25, p<0.05) and PHPLP and post-exercise subscale scores (r=0.37, p<0.01) but that people with diabetes may not actually change their exercise behavior possibly due to their level of physical functioning. Health promotion scores significantly increased for both the experimental (t=4.88, df=49, p<0.001) and the control groups (t=8.15, df=44, p<0.001). T-test was used to examine if the health promotion exercise intervention made a difference in exercise behavior after one month. Both the experimental (t=3.30, df=45, p<0.002) and control groups (t=4.73, df=42, p<0.001) increased exercise subscale scores after the educational intervention despite one approach being based on health promotion and the other approach based on the traditional method of education. Exercise change scores were significantly higher in the experimental group (F=3.708, df=1, p<0.05). The results indicate that education increases exercise behavior in diabetics but further testing is needed to determine if a health promotion approach has more long-term effectiveness than the traditional method of exercise education.



Health education, Exercise, Diabetes, Behavioral sciences