Association of health empowerment and handgrip strength with intention to participate in physical activity among community-dwelling older adults

Author(s): Caillouet KA, Cosio-Lima L



Health empowerment is an individual's perceived control and competence related to health and health care. The projected increased growth of the older adult population calls for a health-related empowerment movement in health education that targets older adults. Using the theory of planned behavior, the purpose of this study was to investigate the association of health empowerment and handgrip strength with intention to participate in physical activity among older adults.


The Korean Health Empowerment Scale (K-HES) was used as a measure of health empowerment. Handgrip strength was used as a measure of muscle strength. Intention to participate in physical activity was measured using five items. Participants of this study included 103 community-dwelling older adults (Mage = 76.45 ± 9.395; Male = 42, Female = 61). Results: Statistical analyses revealed all participants were knowledgeable about the health benefits of exercise and most participated in regular physical activity (n = 84.5%). The majority had normal handgrip strength (n = 60.7%) and most indicated strong intentions to participate in regular physical activity (n = 85%). A stepwise multiple regression revealed health empowerment significantly and positively (F(1,101) = 30.511, p < .001, R2 = 0.232, R2Adjusted = 0.224) associated intention to participate in physical activity. Health empowerment explained 23.2% of the variance in intentions. There was no significant contribution of muscle strength on intention.


Findings suggest overall health empowerment may be affected by a variety of subscales such as problem-solving, obtaining support, motivation, psychosocial coping, and decision making. Conclusion: Future research should explore potential associations between health empowerment and intention to participate in physical activity.

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