Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Albert V. Carron

Second Advisor

Dr. Shauna Burke


Research supports the conclusion that home-based exercise programs are problematic from the perspective of long-term adherence (e.g., Burke et al., 2006). However, there also is evidence that periodic contact from health care professionals and/or experimenters can ameliorate non-adherence (e.g., Burke et al., 2006). The purpose of the study was to quantify, through the use of meta-analysis, the impact of source, type, and frequency of contact on the exercise involvement of adults 50 years or older involved in home-based exercise programs. A secondary problem was to examine the influence of a number of potential moderators. A total of 63 studies containing over 5,000 participants produced 285 effect sizes for analysis. The overall effect size (Hedges g = -123,p > .05) indicated that for participants exercising in a home-based program, there was a small (albeit nonsignificant) reduction in exercise involvement over the duration of the intervention. Furthermore, participants in a home-based program who receive contact at least once per week show significantly greater exercise involvement than participants receiving zero contact or contact greater than once per week. (Hedges g = -.069, p < .05) In addition, one of the conditions within source of contact—mailings— produced a statistically significant effect size (Hedges g = -.094, p < .05).None of the moderator variables examined—medical condition, gender, age, etc.—changed the basic relationship. Also, overall, neither source, type, nor frequency changed the relationship. The results are discussed in terms of social support theory and research.



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