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Maintenance motives for physical activity among older adults: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Mary Katherine Huffman1,
  2. Jason Brian Reed2,
  3. Theresa Carpenter1,
  4. Steve Amireault1
  1. 1 Health & Kinesiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
  2. 2 Libraries and School of Information Studies, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Steve Amireault; samireau{at}


Introduction Physical activity (PA) is an important aspect for health and well-being, yet many older adults do not maintain their PA long term. The identification of key factors that are associated with, and likely causally related to, older adults’ PA maintenance is a crucial first step towards developing programmes that are effective at promoting long-term PA behaviour change. The purpose of this protocol is to outline a systematic review that will examine the relationship between four motives (ie, satisfaction, enjoyment, self-determination and identity) and older adults’ PA maintenance.

Methods and analysis Studies that investigated PA maintenance with a sample mean age ≥55 years will be included. Five electronic databases (PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses) were searched on 6 April 2018 with no publication date limit (ie, from inception). One reviewer screened 100% of titles and abstracts (k=21 470) while a random subsample (20%) was screened independently by two reviewers. An update of the search was run on 1 October 2019. All studies for which the full text was retrieved will be independently screened by two reviewers. Data pertaining to study sample, design, motives, PA (eg, measurement validity evidence, study definition of maintenance) and essential bias domains (eg, bias due to missing data) will be extracted. Study-level effect sizes will be calculated, and if the number of studies is ≥5, a random-effects meta-analysis will be performed using inverse-variance methods; a narrative synthesis will be performed otherwise.

Ethics and dissemination The university’s Human Research Protection Program determined that the proposed study qualifies as exempt from the Institutional Review Board review under Exemption Category 4 (PROPEL #: 80047007). Results will be published in a peer-review journal, and the findings will help inform future interventions with older adults.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42018088161.

  • public health
  • epidemiology
  • statistics & research methods

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors All listed authors have contributed and will continue to contribute meaningfully to the protocol and proposed review. MKH and SA conceived the proposed review. JBR, MKH and SA developed the search strategy, and JBR ran the pilot search as well as the final search. MKH and TC are the two title and abstract reviewers, and MKH and SA are the two full-text reviewers. JBR will be the third reviewer that will help resolve any discrepancy. MKH submitted the protocol to PROSPERO and is responsible for updating the registered protocol as needed. All authors read the final protocol manuscript and revised it for content; all also approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The university’s Human Research Protection Program determined that the proposed study qualifies as exempt from Institutional Review Board review, under federal human subjects research regulations Exemption Category 4 (PROPEL #: 80047007).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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