A Systematic Review of Culturally Specific Interventions to Increase Physical Activity for Older Asian Americans

Carina Katigbak, Erin Flaherty, Ying Yu Chao, Tam Nguyen, Daphne Cheung, Rick Yiu-Cho Kwan

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Physical activity (PA) is a significant modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. For older adults, engaging in PA is shown to improve cardiac status, reduce cognitive, and functional decline, and improve overall quality of life. However, only 17% of Asian American adults meet the 2008 federal recommended guidelines for aerobic and muscle strengthening activity; and there is a paucity of data reporting on older Asian Americans - a rapidly growing, underserved group. While data pertaining to Asian Americans is frequently reported at the aggregate level, this masks differences (eg, language, culture, income) among Asian ethnic subgroups that may impact health behaviors. The purpose of this review was to identify intervention, and cultural adaptation strategies in studies promoting PA for older Asian Americans. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed to identify interventions published between 1996-2016 focused on improving PA among older Asian Americans (> 60 years old). Data were abstracted to examine intervention study designs, cultural adaptation strategies, theoretical frameworks, and physical activity measures. Results: Nine studies met the review's inclusion criteria. Community-based recruitment approaches were widely used, and all studies employed cultural adaptation to varying degrees. Most studies reported improvements in PA outcomes, focused on Chinese Americans, and relied on self-reports of PA, while few aimed to increase PA using a multi-component approach. Conclusions: Future studies would benefit from larger sample sizes, a wider representation of Asian ethnic subgroups, and concentrated efforts to implement deep level adaptations that may increase the salience and sustainability of these interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Asian American
  • intervention studies
  • older adult
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'A Systematic Review of Culturally Specific Interventions to Increase Physical Activity for Older Asian Americans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this