Experiences of successful physical activity maintenance among adults with Type 2 diabetes: A theory-based qualitative study

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Abstract

Objective
Approximately 70% of adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D) fail to achieve the 150 minutes of weekly physical activity (PA) recommended for self-management. Interventions to promote PA adoption in T2D rarely achieve stable maintenance. Analysis of lived experiences of adults with T2D who have successfully transitioned to long-term PA maintenance can build understanding of factors influencing long-term maintenance.

Design
Semi-structured interviews were conducted among 18 adults with T2D who had transitioned to a lifestyle incorporating maintenance of recommended PA. Interview topics were informed by the three phases of the ‘Multi-Process Action Control’ (M-PAC) Framework, and explored attitudes, beliefs and experiences relating to PA decision, adoption and the transition to stable maintenance. Transcripts were thematically analysed.

Findings
Seven themes emerged. Results variously showed that negative affect engendered by T2D diagnosis and inspiration from peers influenced intention formation, and that setting easy, fun goals, and experiencing biopsychosocial gains were important to behaviour adoption. PA maintenance was regulated by habit, expectations of positive affect, and a new sense of identity.

Conclusion
Phase-based frameworks can help understand how regulation of behaviour evolves over time. PA promotion strategies for inactive adults with T2D should be phase-tailored, to help people transition from intentions to maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-416
JournalPsychology & health
Volume39
Issue number3
Early online date27 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024

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