Response of older adults with a previous depression diagnosis to an intervention aimed at increasing health promoting behavior in Georgia senior centers
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The study’s purpose was to explore the relationship between depression and health promoting lifestyle (HPL) engagement before and after a state-wide health promoting behavior intervention in Georgia senior centers. Participants were a convenience sample of 546 older adults (median age 75.0 years, 81.0 percent female, 37.2 percent black, and 22.7 percent depressed). The 12-week intervention’s themes were eating healthy, being active, being positive, and getting checked. Pre- and post-tests assessed HPL engagement based on meeting current nutrition, physical activity, tobacco avoidance, and preventive screening recommendations. At pre-test, depression was negatively related to physical activity and overall HPL engagement and positively related to preventive screenings. HPL engagement increased following the intervention. Depression was not a predictor of change in HPL engagement following the intervention. The results provide evidence for the intervention’s effectiveness at improving HPL engagement in the target population and depression was not a barrier to these improvements.