Medical EducationOriginal Article

Using the Multitheory Model to Predict Initiation and Sustenance of Physical Activity Behavior Among Osteopathic Medical Students

Vinayak K. Nahar, MD, PhD, MS; Amanda H. Wilkerson, PhD; Philip M. Stephens, MS, OMS II; Richard W. Kim, MS, OMS II; and Manoj Sharma, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: October 2, 2018

Accepted: October 10, 2018

Published: August 1, 2019

J Osteopath Med; 119(8): 479-487

Context: The multitheory model (MTM) is a newly developed fourth-generation theoretical framework that addresses both initiation and sustenance of health behavior change. Studies have shown that the MTM is efficacious in predicting a range of health behaviors.

Objectives: To assess the utility of the MTM in predicting initiation and sustenance of physical activity behavior among osteopathic medical students.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a volunteer convenience sample was recruited from an osteopathic medical school student population at a university in the southeastern region of the United States. An online survey was used to collect self-reported data on sociodemographic information and MTM constructs. Multiple linear regression using the enter method for modeling was performed to determine the predictive ability of the MTM constructs.

Results: Of the 135 participants, 52.6% were women and 67.7% were white. The initiation model explained 25.8% of the variance (adjusted R2=0.238). Behavioral confidence was a statistically significant predictor of initiation of physical activity behavior change. The sustenance model explained 41.7% of the variance (adjusted R2=0.402). Changes in social environment and emotional transformation were statistically significant predictors of sustenance of physical activity behavior change.

Conclusions: The MTM appears to be a robust theoretical framework for designing behavior change interventions to increase physical activity among osteopathic medical students.

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