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Table 3 Results of association between SS and PA and quality rating

From: The association between social support and physical activity in older adults: a systematic review

Primary Author (Year) Type of SS1 Theory2 Type of analysis3 Adjustments Results of association between PA and SS or loneliness4 Summary result5 Paper quality rating6
Booth [64] SSPA SCT [19] with comments on determinants for older adults from [112] Forced entry logistic regression analysis Age, sex, country of birth, marital status, employment status, living situation Sig. greater number of active people had high social support (42.7% inactive Vs 55.6% active had high social support (P = 0.010). Partner or friends being active was sig. associated with being active. + Mod
Bopp [65] SSPA NS Bivariate associations. Logistic regression analysis nil Sig. positive correlation between total social support (family) and strength training (ST) participation (β =1.10, p = 0.001) and also hours per week of ST training (β = 0.26, p = 0.003). No sig. association SS (friends) and ST + (family)
0 friends)
Carlson [31] SSPA SEM Mixed Effect regression models Total PA - age, ethnicity and gender, walk for transport : age ethnicity, months at address, number of vehicles per adult, walk for leisure: ethnicity and months at address SS sig. associated with total MVPA (min/ week).
B = 14.35, p < 0.01). SS sig. associated with min/ week walking for transport (B = 7.35, p < 0.05). SS sig. associated with min/ week walking for leisure (P < 0.05)
+ Mod
Gellert [66] SSPA NS ANOVA. Regression analysis using MODPROBE macro gender, age Mean PA (F (2, 299) = 4.39, p < 0.05) as well as SS (F (2, 299) =5.49, p < 0.01) was higher in the group with individuals whose partners took part in the intervention, compared to the other two groups. + Weak
Hall [67] SSPA Socioecological model [113] MANOVAs age No Sig. difference between SSPA (friends or family) on whether participants did <10,000 steps or > = 10,000 steps per day. SSE Friends: F = 0.02, p = 0.88
SSE Family: F = 0.02, p = 0.89.
0 (friends or family) Mod
Kaplan [80] General SS NS Bivariate relationships Gender, age, education, marital status, smoking, chronic conditions, BMI, injury, functional limitations, distress, region Higher social support was sig. associated with greater odds of doing frequent PA in females. Females OR (95%CI) =1.08 (1.04-1.13), not significant for males. OR (95%CI) = 1.04 (0.99-1.09) + female)
0 (males)
Kim [68] SSPA SEM [114] Correlation followed by Stepwise multiple regression analysis gender, education level, living situation, self-efficacy SS (family) pos. associated with amount of PA Fchange (2,279) =10.24, p = 0.012 (second most important contributor to PA after self-efficacy) No sig. effect of SS from friends. + (family)
Kraithaworn [69] SSPA Health promotion model, socio-ecological model. Path analysis using LISREL Nil SS did not significantly predict PA levels directly or indirectly. (Direct effect B = 0.1. Indirect effect B = 0.08, total effect B = 0.18) SS had an indirect effect on PA levels through sense of community. 0 Mod
Lian [70] SSPA PRECEDE health promotion framework Multiple regression by stepwise method Nil More Family encouragement and higher proportion of family members exercising was significantly associated with greater frequency of at least 20 min of moderate to vigorous exercise per week: standardised β = 0.131 and standardised β = 0.108 respectively for men and standardised β = 0.154 and 0.138 for women. (For all P < 0.001) In addition, frequency of contact with people significantly associated with greater frequency of moderate to vigorous exercise per week in women. Standardised β = 0.052, p < 0.05). No association for friends + (family)
0 (friends)
Luo [58] Loneliness NS Cross-lagged path analysis Age, gender, ethnicity, residence (urban or rural), education, financial independence, relative economic status, number of visiting children in 2002. Regular PA participation decreased odds of being lonely 3 years later and loneliness decreases odds of being active in 3 years. Lonely02-- > PE05 and lonely05-- > PE08 β = -0.028, P < 0.001. PE02-- > lonely05 and PE05-- > lonely08. B = -0.111, p > 0.001. - Mod
McAuley [25, 71] SSPA. SCT (but also testing theoretical models). Structural equation modeling Nil Those who reported more frequent PA, had higher levels of SS, which influenced both a better exercise experience and directly and indirectly a higher self-efficacy, which predicted higher exercise participation at both 6 and 18 months.”
Model fit statistics: χ 2 (6) = 5.20, P > .10; NNFI, 1.0; CFI, 1.0; RMSEA, 0.027
(Indirect + associations: SS → Affect → SE → PASE 6 months → PASE 18 months)
Mowen [81] General SS Stress-buffering and main effect of SS on health. Path analysis Nil Larger SS network size or SS satisfaction did not increase odds of having a moderate or vigorously active lifestyle. SS network β = 0.014, SS satisfaction β = 0.007 0 Mod
Netz [59] Loneliness NS. ANOVA with Chi2 test and Multinomial stepwise logistic regressions BMI, being religious versus secular, Self-rated health and education No assoc. between odds of feeling lonely and PA level in men. In women it explained 20% of variance. Greater loneliness was associated with lower odds of engaging in sufficient PA as compared to "inactive" OR (SE) = -0.52 (0.23). Adjusted OR (CI) 0.59 (0.38, 0.94). No significant association between living alone and activity levels. -(female)
0 (males)
Newall et al. [60] Loneliness Fredrickson 's Broaden and Build Theory [115] Regression analysis Age, gender, income satisfaction, marital status, functional status, health status Loneliness was not significantly associated with mean everyday PA (β = 0.001, p > 0.05). Also no interaction between loneliness and happiness (B = 0.08, p > 0.05). However, greater loneliness was associated with subjectively feeling less physically active compared to peers. 0 weak
O'Brien Cousins [72] SSPA Theory of Planned behaviour [116] SCT [117] Multiple regression analysis Education, marital status, employment status, country of origin Exercise level (more PA per week) was associated with a greater composite SSPA. B = 0.264, SE = 0.055 (P < 0.01) + Mod
Oka. [73] SSPA. NS. Chi2 analysis and an independent group t-test Age, gender, marital status, BMI, smoking status, alcohol consumption, self-efficacy for exercise, advice from HCP, perceived neighbourhood environment Greater SS did not increase the likelihood of meeting PA guidelines in either males or females. Adjusted Odd Ratio (AOR) for meeting national PA guidelines and having higher SS for exercise: AOR (95%CI) = 0.82 (0.63-1.07) 0 (males or females) Mod
Orsega-Smith [33, 74] SSPA SCT Correlation analysis, multiple regression analysis and ANCOVA Age, physical health More LTPA significantly associated with higher SSPA from both family and friends. SS (family) Adj. B = 0.72, p < 0.05, SS (friends) Adj. B = 0.113, p < 0.0001. Also, people who met the CDC recommended guidelines for PA were significantly more likely to have higher SS from friends and family. + (friends)
+ (family)
Park [75] SSPA NS Multiple regression, independent 2 sample t-test for high vs low-active and SS Nil Multiple regression. No significant correlation between SS from friends and PA. Negative association between SS family and PA. SS family: B = -0.220, t = -3.107 p < 0.01. Both High and low active individuals scored low on SS from friends and family with no significant difference between them. 0 (friends)
- (family)
Potts [83] General SS Health belief model (Becker, 1974 [118, 119] Ordinary least squares regression Demographic factors (gender, age, education, marriage, income), health status, perceived frailty People with stronger social support networks more likely to exercise regularly. B = 0.11 (p < 0.01). + Mod
Sasidharan [76] SSPA SCT Separate factor analyses for friends and family SS Nil Sig. positive association between SS (friends) and LTPA b (unstandardized) (SE) = 0.13 (0.09), p < 0.05 No significant association for family SSL.
B (SE) = -0.05 (0.03).
0 (family)
Schuster [77] SSPA SCT Hierarchical multiple regression Perceived barriers Perceived SS was significantly correlated with LTPA (r = 0.474, p < 0.0001). Perceived SS accounted for an additional 17.5% of the variance in intentional exercise (P < 0.001)' after perceived barriers had been entered into the model. + weak
Shankar [61] Loneliness NS Multinomial logistic regression Age, gender, limiting long-standing illness, depression, and marital status-adjusted wealth Loneliness associated with a greater likelihood of being inactive. OR (95% CI) reference = risky behaviour. Loneliness OR = 1.08 (1.04-1.113) of being inactive vs active. Social isolation: 1.115 (1.11-1.19) of being active vs inactive - Mod
Shiovitz-Ezra [62] Loneliness NS Multivariate logistic regression Age, gender, education, income, ethnicity, self-rated health. Functional impairment No sig. association between being lonely to some degree and doing any PA. PA OR (SE) [95% CI]: 0.8 (0.11) [0.6-1.07] 0 Mod
Theeke [63] Loneliness NS Chi-square statistics and one-way analysis of variance Marital status, self-reported health, education, functional impairment, number of chronic illnesses, age, annual household income, number of individuals in household. Chi-squared testing showed significant difference in frequency of moderate activity in Never lonely, briefly lonely and chronically lonely groups. Chi2 = 438.347 (P < 0.005). The chronically lonely group did less average exercise than the briefly lonely or never lonely groups (no statistical test reported for this). - Mod
Vance [82] General SS NS Correlation and step-wise regression Nil No significant association between social network and total PA (r = 0.02) 0 Weak
Wilcox [78] SSPA SCT Hierarchical regression analysis Sociodemographic measures (age, race, education, marital status), Non-significant trend for greater social support from friends and family (total) to be associated with higher levels of PA. B = 0.16, p = 0.09. Qualitative discussion identified social support as being a very common motivator to PA. 0 Mod
Yeom [79] SSPA Wellness Motivation Theory [120] Repeated measures ANOVA and Chi-Square test Nil Intervention group (IG) significantly increased support from family (F = 21.87, p < 0.01) and friends (F = 24.72, p < 0.001) compared to controls. IG more likely to engage in regular PA after the intervention, compared with controls. Chi-squared =25.01, p < 0.001. + (friends)
+ (family)
  1. 1SSPA = Social Support for PA
  2. 2NS = Not specified. SCT = Social Cognitive Theory
  3. 3ANOVA = Analysis of Variance
  4. 4Sig. = Significant, CI = confidence interval
  5. 5+ = positive association, - = negative association, 0 = no association
  6. 6Mod = Moderate quality