The Sustained Impact of a Medical School-Based Physical Activity Module on Interns’ Perceived Competence in Advising Older Adults About Exercise

  • Agathe Daria JadczakEmail author
  • R. Visvanathan
Brief Reports


The study aimed to examine the sustained impact of a 1.5-hour medical school-based physical activity (PA) module on interns’ perceived competence and importance in advising older adults about exercise. The modified Exercise and Physical Activity Competence Questionnaire (EPACQ) was administered in 2017 (CG: control group) and 2018 (IG: intervention group) two years post-course. The perceived competence of both, CG (n=23) and IG (n=18), decreased significantly over two years (p≤0.05) with no difference between the groups (p≥0.05). However, 72.2% (n=13) of the interns who attended the PA module still felt competent in advising older adults about exercise (4.21±0.66) compared to 47.8% (n=11) of the CG (3.89±0.67). The perceived importance decreased significantly in both groups (p≤0.05) with no difference between the groups (p≥0.05). However, both groups still perceived exercise for older people as important (CG:4.55±0.61; IG:4.83±0.47). Subsequently, continued professional development is likely to be a key requirement for ensuring sustainability over time.

Key words

Perceived competence exercise prescription interns medical education older people 



The authors would like to thank Prof David Wilson for reviewing the manuscript and all the students and interns who participated in this study.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care (G-TRAC) Centre, Adelaide Medical SchoolUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence Frailty and Healthy AgeingUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Aged and Extended Care Services, The Queen Elizabeth HospitalCentral Adelaide Local Health NetworkAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health ResearchThe Queen Elizabeth HospitalWoodville SouthAustralia

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