Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Journal Article

The Decisional Balance Sheet to Promote Healthy Behavior Among Ethnically Diverse Older Adults

Objective The rising health care costs and increasing older adult population in the United States make preventive medicine for this age group especially crucial. Regular physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption may prevent or delay the onset of many chronic conditions that are common among older adults. The decisional balance sheet is a promotional tool targeting the perceived pros and cons of behavior adoption. The current study tested the efficiency and effectiveness of a single-day decisional balance sheet program, targeting increased physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake among older adults. Design and Sample Participating adults ( N = 21, age = 72.2) who represented a diverse population in Hawaii ( Japanese = 5, Filipino = 4, Caucasian = 4, Native American = 1, Native Hawaiian = 1, Hispanic = 1, and Others = 5) were recruited from housing communities and randomized to a decisional balance sheet program adapted for physical activity or fruit and vegetable consumption. Measures Physical activity was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) short form, and daily fruit and vegetable intake with the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey single item instrument. Baseline and follow-up data were collected. Results Both programs were implemented efficiently, and participants in both groups improved their daily physical activity. The decisional balance sheet for fruit and vegetable consumption appeared less effective. Conclusions Specific suggestions for similar programs are reported.

K.S. Geller
I.D. Mendoza
J. Timbobolan
H.L. Montjoy
C.R. Nigg
Publication Date