Olivia Henderson1 & Melissa Powers1

1 University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, Oklahoma

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference in understanding of Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) with two types of instructions. METHODS: Older adults that lived independently at a life care community participated in this study (N = 18). Two interviews took place more than seven days apart from each other. One participant only attended the first interview. At the first interview, participants signed the necessary paperwork and randomly chose which script (Brief or Modified Borg) would be read. At the second interview the remaining script was read. Identical sets of description, scenario and feedback questions were asked after each script. Participants were asked to describe the feeling of RPE’s 6,9,13, 17, and 20. In addition, scenarios were said and they were asked to label the situations RPE level for themselves. Scenarios included gate closing at the airport (Airport Scenario), playing with children, and a typical trip to the grocery store. Responses were rated ‘Good,’ ‘Needs Improvement,’ and ‘Exact.’ Situations were analyzed by script and frequency. RESULTS: The Modified Borg instructions had a higher number of ‘Good’ descriptions for 6 (n = 13 vs. n = 12), 9 (n = 14 vs. n = 11), 13 (n = 9 vs. n = 4), and 17 (n = 12 vs. n = 3). RPE of 20 had equal (n = 10) participants with ‘Good’ descriptions for both scripts; however, the Modified Borg had two more participants that ‘Needed Improvement.’ The Airport scenario for the Brief instructions ranged from 13 to 20 RPE and 8 to 17 RPE for the Modified Borg. The most common answers were 13 (n = 5) and 15 (n = 5) for the Brief, and the Modified Borg’s were 12 (n = 4) and, 11, 13 and 14 (n = 3). Playing with children scenario resulted in 11 and 12 being the most common answer given for both scripts (n = 3 – 6). The children scenario ranged from 7 to 18 for the Brief Script and 6 to 13 for the Modified Borg. Most answered response was 11 (n = 6) to the grocery store scenario for both scripts ranging from 8 to 14 and 6 to 14 for the Brief and Modified Borg. CONCLUSION: Perception widely varies between the participants for the different scenarios. The longer more descriptive instructions were helpful but were possibly too long for the adults to be more accurate than the brief script.

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