A low-cost, randomized pilot trial promoting physical activity among older adults in Lebanon: the ProPAOLA study

Marco Bardus, Lea Zeinoun, N. El Boukhari, Sawsan Abdulrahim

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background: Older adults do not engage in sufficient physical activity (PA) in urbanized areas in Lebanon. Interventions are needed to promote PA especially among this underserved segment of the population.

Objective: To examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a 6-week, low-cost, theory-based PA intervention targeting older adults.

Design: Randomized pilot trial with two study arms.

Setting: Community-based centers for older people, in Beirut, Lebanon. Subjects: 26 older adults (50% females), aged 65-93.

Methods: The intervention was based on the Social Cognitive Theory. Participants were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Both groups attended an initial 90-minute Educational Group Session (EGS). Intervention participants received three follow-up Individual Counseling Sessions (ICS), and two Individual Training Sessions (IPTS). The control group received only the EGS. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and week 6. Feasibility was based on attendance and participation rates. Efficacy was based on Mann-Whitney U tests and multivariate regression.

Results: Attendance was high in all components of the trial (EGS: 88%; ICS 100%; ITS: 77%); survey response rate was 94% (range: 88% week 4 – 96% at baseline and week 3). The intervention group had a significantly higher moderate PA at 6 weeks (Md=100, IQR=55 min/week, n=13), compared to the control group (Md=0.0, IQR=73 min/week, n=9), U=21.00, z=-2.55, p=0.011, r=0.34.

Conclusions: A low-cost intervention targeting moderate PA among low-income older adults living in Beirut, Lebanon was feasible and effective in promoting moderate PA. Larger studies could follow this approach to promote this type of PA in other settings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventAPHA 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo - San Diego, United States
Duration: 10 Nov 201814 Nov 2018

Academic conference

Academic conferenceAPHA 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address


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