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


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.

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

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Author contributions: Both authors contributed to the study design, implementation of the study, analysing and interpretation of the results and preparing the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Agathe Daria Jadczak.

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

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Jadczak, A.D., Visvanathan, R. The Sustained Impact of a Medical School-Based Physical Activity Module on Interns’ Perceived Competence in Advising Older Adults About Exercise. J Frailty Aging 9, 155–157 (2020).

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Key words

  • Perceived competence
  • exercise prescription
  • interns
  • medical education
  • older people