Purpose: To compare the effects of a physical activity (PA) intervention of group meetings versus group meetings supplemented by personal calls or automated calls on the adoption and maintenance of PA and on weight stability among African-American women.
Design: Randomized clinical trial with three conditions randomly assigned across six sites.
Setting: Health settings in predominately African-American communities.
Subjects: There were 288 women, aged 40 to 65, without major signs/symptoms of pulmonary/cardiovascular disease.
Intervention: Six group meetings delivered over 48 weeks with either 11 personal motivational calls, 11 automated motivational messages, or no calls between meetings.
Measures: Measures included PA (questionnaires, accelerometer, aerobic fitness), weight, and body composition at baseline, 24 weeks, and 48 weeks.
Analysis: Analysis of variance and mixed models.
Results: Retention was 90% at 48 weeks. Adherence to PA increased significantly (p < .001) for questionnaire (d = .56, 128 min/wk), accelerometer (d = .37, 830 steps/d), and aerobic fitness (d = .41, 7 steps/2 min) at 24 weeks and was maintained at 48 weeks (p < .001), with no differences across conditions. Weight and body composition showed no significant changes over the course of the study.
Conclusion: Group meetings are a powerful intervention for increasing PA and preventing weight gain and may not need to be supplemented with telephone calls, which add costs and complexity.
Keywords: adherence; african-american women; physical activity; prevention research.
© The Author(s) 2016.