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Adoption of a Tai Chi Intervention, Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, for Fall Prevention by Rural Faith-Based Organizations, 2013–2014
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    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:
    Background Translating evidence-based, community-delivered, fall-prevention exercise programs into new settings is a public health priority. Community Context Older adults (aged ≥65 y) are at high risk for falls. We conducted a community engagement project in West Virginia to evaluate the adoption of a tai chi exercise program, Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, by rural faith-based organizations (FBOs) and exercise instructors by recruiting 20 FBOs and 20 or more exercise instructors and by obtaining input from key stakeholders (representatives of FBOs, community representatives, exercise instructors) regarding potential barriers and facilitators to program adoption. Methods We used both multistage, purposeful random sampling and snowball sampling to recruit FBOs and exercise instructors in 7 West Virginia counties. Two forums were held with stakeholders to identify barriers and facilitators to program adoption. We calculated separate adoption rates for organizations and exercise instructors. Outcome It took up to 3 months to recruit each FBO with an adoption rate of 94%. We made 289 telephone calls, sent 193 emails and 215 letters, distributed brochures and flyers to 69 FBOs, held 118 meetings, and made 20 trips over a period of 31 days (8,933 miles traveled). Nineteen of 22 trained exercise instructors started classes, an instructor adoption rate of 86%. Key issues regarding adoption were the age requirement for participants, trust, education, and competing priorities. Interpretation Although we had recruitment challenges, our adoption rates were similar to or higher than those reported in other studies, and the objectives of the community engagement project were met. Clustering the FBOs and having them located closer geographically to our location may have reduced our resource use, and using a recruitment coordinator from the local community may have enabled us to gain the trust of congregants and clergy support.
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