Retention of African American Women in a Lifestyle Physical Activity Program

West J Nurs Res. 2016 Mar;38(3):369-85. doi: 10.1177/0193945915609902. Epub 2015 Oct 15.


The purpose of the article is to examine how well individual characteristics, neighborhood characteristics, and intervention participation predict study retention and staff level of effort needed for retention, using a cohort of African American women enrolled in a physical activity program. Secondary data analysis was conducted from a randomized clinical trial. Participants were aged 40 to 65 years without major signs/symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Assessments were conducted at community sites in/bordering African American communities. Study retention was 90%. Of those retained, 24% required moderate/high level of staff effort for retention. Retention was predicted by being older, having lower perceived neighborhood walkability, living in neighborhoods with greater disadvantage and crime, and having greater program participation. More staff effort was predicted by participants being younger, having more economic hardships, poorer health, or lower intervention participation. We may be able to identify people at baseline likely to require more staff effort to retain.

Keywords: African American; intervention; physical activity; retention; women.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American*
  • Chicago
  • Exercise* / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Selection
  • Program Evaluation
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sedentary Behavior / ethnology
  • Social Environment*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Workforce