Outcomes of a home-based walking program for African-American women

Am J Health Promot. May-Jun 2008;22(5):307-17. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.22.5.307.


Purpose: As compared with minimal treatment (MT), to determine the effectiveness of a home-based walking intervention enhanced by behavioral strategies targeted and tailored to African-American women (enhanced treatment [ET]) on adherence, physical activity, fitness, and body composition at 24 and 48 weeks.

Design: Using a quasi-experimental design, treatments were randomly assigned to one of two community health centers.

Setting: The centers were in predominately African-American communities.

Participants: Sedentary women (156 ET, 125 MT) 40 to 65 years were recruited within a 3-mile radius of each center.

Intervention: Both treatments had the same orientation. The ET group had four targeted workshops followed by weekly tailored telephone calls over 24 weeks.

Methods: Generalized linear mixed models were used to test effects of treatments on adherence, physical activity, aerobic fitness, and body composition.

Results: Adherence was significantly higher in the ET than the MT group and was related to the number of workshops attended (r = .58) and tailored calls (r = .25) received. On-treatment analysis showed significant postintervention improvement in waist circumference and fitness in the ET group; however, these improvements were not statistically different between the two groups. Intent to treat analysis showed a significant increase in fitness, decrease in waist circumference, and no change in body mass index in both treatments.

Conclusion: Findings suggest the potential impact of workshop group support on adherence in African-American women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physical Fitness
  • Social Support
  • Walking*