Randomized Clinical Trial of the Women's Lifestyle Physical Activity Program for African-American Women: 24- and 48-Week Outcomes

Am J Health Promot. 2016 May;30(5):335-45. doi: 10.1177/0890117116646342.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance