Let's Move for Pacific Islander Communities: an Evidence-Based Intervention to Increase Physical Activity

J Cancer Educ. 2016 Jun;31(2):261-7. doi: 10.1007/s13187-015-0875-3.


Pacific Islander (PI) populations of Southern California experience high obesity and low physical activity levels. Given PI's rich cultural ties, efforts to increase physical activity using a community-tailored strategy may motivate members in a more sustainable manner. In this paper, we (1) detail the program adaptation methodology that was utilized to develop the Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (WINCART) Center's PI Let's Move Program, a culturally tailored program aimed to increase physical activity levels among members of PI organizations in Southern California, and (2) share the program's pilot evaluation results on individual and organizational changes. The WINCART Center applied the National Cancer Institute's program adaptation guidelines to tailor the evidence-based Instant Recess program to fit the needs of PIs. The end product, the PI Let's Move Program, was piloted in 2012 with eight PI organizations, reaching 106 PI adults. At baseline, 52 % of participants reported that they were not physically active, with the average number of days engaged in medium-intensity physical activity at 2.09 days/week. After the 2-month program, participants increased the number of days that they engaged in medium-intensity physical activity from 2.09 to 2.90 days/week. Post-pilot results found that 82 % of participants reported intentions to engage in physical activity for at least the next 6 months. At baseline, only one organization was currently implementing a physical activity program, and none had implemented an evidence-based physical activity program tailored for PIs. After the 2-month timeframe, despite varying levels of capacity, all eight organizations were able to successfully implement the program. In conclusion, results from our program provide evidence that disparity populations, such as PIs, can be successfully reached through programs that are culturally tailored to both individuals and their community organizations.

Keywords: Cancer health disparities; Community-based participatory research; Health disparities; Pacific Islander; Physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Community Health Planning
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Exercise*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group / education*
  • Pacific Islands
  • Preventive Health Services / organization & administration*