Testing Leash Walking Training as a Physical Activity Intervention for Older Adult Dog Owners: A Feasibility Study
Licensed according to this deed.
Dog walking is a physical activity (PA) with many health benefits for older adults. Dog behavior issues can be a barrier to dog walking. This study piloted leash manners training as a PA intervention for dog owners ages 60+ years. Fourteen dog owners (mean age = 65 years, female = 71%) enrolled in a leash manners training course. Process evaluation data were collected to determine feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and study procedures. Twelve of fourteen enrolled participants (86%) completed the course, and most were highly engaged with the program, as evidenced by high class attendance (92% of participants who completed the course attended ≥5 of 6 classes) and a majority (64%) reporting frequent skills practice at home. Further, most participants (73%) reported their leash walking skills improved. The PA assessment protocol (7 days of 24 h data collection using activPAL monitors) was well tolerated, with all participants who completed assessments at each time point (pre-program, post-program, 4-week follow-up) providing ≥6 valid days of data. In sum, the intervention approach and study procedures were feasible and acceptable in this sample of older adults. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of leash manners training for increasing PA in this population.
|Publication Title||Geriatrics (Basel)|
|Author Address||Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.|
|Cite this work||
Researchers should cite this work as follows: