Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Exercise Beliefs In Elderly Nursing Home Residents: A Cross-Secti.pdf (2.05 MB)

Exercise Beliefs In Elderly Nursing Home Residents: A Cross-Sectional, Case Control Study

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posted on 2019-11-22, 18:06 authored by Sinead V. Byrne


The number of Irish older adults receiving long term care is steadily growing in line with increased life expectancy. Nursing home residents are typically sedentary, leading to poor health and functional outcomes in this population. There is a lack of research concerning the exercise beliefs of this inactive subgroup of the older adult population.

Aims and Objectives

The primary aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that older adults in a nursing home have poor outcome expectations for exercise, and reduced self- efficacy for exercise, when compared to older adults residing in the community. A secondary aim was to assess if an association exists between these exercise beliefs and the participants’ functional scores, number of comorbidities and psychological health.


A cross sectional, case control study design was employed, using a sample of convenience. Twenty two nursing home residents, and twenty active retirement group members (≥65 years) living independently in the community completed a written survey. Exercise beliefs were measured using the Outcome Expectations for Exercise Scale (OEE), and the Self-Efficacy for Exercise Scale (SEE).Secondary outcome measures were the Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living (BI), number of comorbidities, and the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 (GDS-15).


The groups were significantly different in terms of age (p=0.03), number of comorbidities (p=


Self-efficacy for exercise is lower amongst nursing home residents than in community dwelling older adults. Both groups demonstrate high outcome expectations for exercise. The presence of depressive symptoms is significantly associated with lower self-efficacy and outcome expectations for exercise. It is evident that the presence of depressive symptoms may represent a significant barrier to participation in physical activity for older adults both in nursing homes and in the community.


First Supervisor

Dr Frances Horgan


A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc in Neurology and Gerontology to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2016.

Published Citation

Byrne SV. Exercise Beliefs In Elderly Nursing Home Residents: A Cross-Sectional, Case Control Study [MSc Thesis]. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2016.

Degree Name

  • MSc Neurology and Gerontology

Date of award


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