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Evaluation of physical activity programmes for elderly people - a descriptive study using the EFQM' criteria

Ana I Marques1*, Maria J Rosa2, Pedro Soares3, Rute Santos14, Jorge Mota1 and Joana Carvalho1

Author affiliations

1 Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure - Faculty of Sports, Porto University, Portugal

2 Department of Economics, Management and Industrial Engineering - University of Aveiro, Portugal

3 Escola Sec. José Estêvão - Aveiro, Portugal

4 Maia Institute of Higher Education (CIDESD), Portugal

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2011, 11:123  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-123

Published: 21 February 2011



In the past years, there has been a growing concern in designing physical activity (PA) programmes for elderly people, because evidence suggests that such health promotion interventions may reduce the deleterious effects of the ageing process. Quality is an important issue when designing a PA programme for older people. Some studies support the Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) as an operational framework for evaluating the quality of an organization. Within this context, the aim of this study was to characterize the quality management models of the PA programmes developed by Portuguese Local Administration to enhance quality of life for elderly people, according to the criteria of the EFQM Excellence Model.


A methodological triangulation was conducted in 26 PA programmes using questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interviews and document analysis. We used standard approaches to the statistical analysis of data including frequencies and percentages for the categorical data.


Results showed that Processes (65,38%), Leadership (61,03%), Customer results (58,46) and People (51,28%) had high percentage occurrences of quality practices. In contrast, Partnerships and resources (45,77%), People results (41,03%), Policy and strategy (37,91%), Key performance results (19,23%) and Society results (19,23%) had lower percentage occurrences.


Our findings suggest that although there are some good practices in PA programmes, there are still relevant areas that require improvement.