Year of Publication

2020

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Swanson

Abstract

Osteoarthritis is a health outcome most commonly experienced by older adults. As the “baby boomer” population continues to age, the demand for services for older adults also increases. Fit and Strong! is an evidence-based program that works to reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis in this population through an 8-week course of physical activity classes, taught by Fit and Strong! certified instructors. Carmel, Indiana, a city in Hamilton County, has a high percentage of older adults within its population, and community health needs assessments have indicated that Hamilton County citizens have repeatedly expressed a need for resources for older members of the community. To address these needs, the Hamilton County Health Department has decided to implement Fit and Strong! at three locations in Carmel, where one certified instructor will be assigned to each location. This program measures several outcomes in relation to osteoarthritis through pre- and post-tests to evaluate the efficacy of the program. Additionally, partnering with several key stakeholders and other community organizations will contribute to sustainability of Fit and Strong! in Carmel, Indiana. The combination of all of these components will be critical to the reduction of symptoms of osteoarthritis within this population.

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