All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Richard M Shewchuk

Advisory Committee Members

Jeffrey H Burkhardt

Warren S Martin

Maria Pisu

Paige Powell

Haiyan Qu

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2010

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Health Professions

Abstract

The association between individuals' ages, physicians' recommendations for physical activity, adherence, and health related quality of life among individuals with arthritis was examined using the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The sample included 33,071 individuals with self-reported, physician-diagnosed arthritis who were 45 years or older. To answer the research questions, three sets of data were created: a whole sample (n=33,071), those 45-64 years old (n=17,607), and those 65 years or older (n=15,464). The conceptual framework for the study was based on the Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization. The variables of interests were physicians' recommendations for physical activity, adherence to physical activity guidelines, health related quality of life (measured as physically and mentally unhealthy days), age, sex, race, education, marital status, employment, income, health insurance, personal physician, emotional support, body mass index, activity limitations, health status, and co-morbidities. The analysis included univariate, bivariate statistics, logistic regression, and negative binomial regression models. Results indicated that older adults were less likely (OR=0.86) to receive physicians' recommendations for physical activity compared to the group 45-64 years old. Those who did not receive physicians' recommendations were less likely (OR=0.94) to adhere to physical activity guidelines compared to those who adhered. Those who did not adhere to physical activity guidelines had higher physically (14%) and mentally unhealthy days (12%) compared to those who adhered to physical activity guidelines. In both age groups, the number of physically unhealthy days was 12%-18% higher, for those who did not adhere to physical activity guidelines than those who adhered to physical activity guidelines. However, the associations between physicians' recommendations and adherence, and adherence and mentally unhealthy days, were different for the age groups.

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