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Keywords:

  • physical activity determinants;
  • rural women

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of this integrative review is to analyze current, non-experimental literature to identify factors that influence physical activity levels in rural women with a goal of informing nurses and improving the effectiveness of future physical activity interventions in this population.

Design and Sample

Whittemore and Knafl's (2005) integrative review methodology was used. The sample included 11 quantitative articles, seven qualitative studies, two studies that incorporated both methodologies, and one explanatory case study.

Measures

Each article was evaluated for quality using the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses revised evidence leveling system. Data were analyzed and then synthesized using the Matrix Method.

Results

The terms “rural” and “physical activity” were diversely defined in the reviewed articles. The results revealed three categories of determinants: personal factors, socio-economic factors, and physical environment factors.

Conclusions

Effective nursing interventions to promote physical activity should address barriers and motivating factors in all three categories of determinants for maximum efficacy. Additional research that clearly defines and consistently applies the terms “rural” and “physical activity” is needed to strengthen knowledge in this area.