Research indicates that social support may promote physical activity; however, most Latinas with osteoarthritis (OA) are not sufficiently active. This qualitative dyadic study explored how Latinas with OA and a self‐selected physical activity “supporter” motivate each other to be more active. Furthermore, perceptions of how OA symptoms impact support and physical activity were examined. Semi‐structured dyadic interviews were conducted with Latinas with OA and a member of their social network ≥ 16 years old who supports their physical activity (N=14 dyads). Framework analysis was used to reduce qualitative data to themes and subthemes.

Daughters (n=5), spouses (n=4), sons (n=2), a granddaughter (n=1), nephew (n=1), and friend (n=1) provided support for the target behavior. In many cases, dyads said the motivation to engage in physical activity was reciprocated rather than focused solely on Latinas with OA. Support was often reciprocated by a) engaging in physical activity together, b) using pressure, c) talking about being active, d) modeling physical activity, and e) helping with household responsibilities. Although participants agreed that physical activity was beneficial and Latinas desired additional support when experiencing OA symptoms, there was concern about the safety of activity in the presence of symptoms. Several adult daughters indicated that their mothers’ OA symptoms motivated their physical activity.

In conclusion, dyadic strategies for promoting physical activity among Latinas with OA and how support may be reciprocated were identified.