Two-Phase Evaluation of a Community-Based Lifestyle Intervention for Palestinian Women in East Jerusalem: A Quasi-Experimental Study Followed by Dissemination

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 9;17(24):9184. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17249184.


Palestinian-Arab women are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to high prevalence of diabetes and other risk factors. The current study investigates the effectiveness of an intensive group-based intervention on lifestyle habits that can prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To that end, we conducted a group-based intervention based on the diabetes prevention program in two consecutive phases. The first phase consisted of a quasi-experimental study and the second phase included community-wide dissemination, with a 6-month follow-up. Findings from the quasi-experiment indicate increased consumption of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, weight reduction (-2.21 kg, p < 0.01), and a significant increase in the average daily steps in the intervention group (from 4456 to 6404). Findings from the dissemination indicate that average daily vegetables consumption increased from 1.76 to 2.32/day as did physical activity and average daily steps (from 4804 to 5827). There was a significant reduction in blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL. These gains were sustained over 6 months following the intervention. This community-based, culturally adapted, health-promotion intervention led to improved nutrition and physical activity which were maintained after 6 months. Collaboration with community centers and local community partners created an effective channel for dissemination of the program to pre-clinical individuals.

Keywords: Arab women; East Jerusalem; community-based intervention; diabetes prevention program (DPP); healthy lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabs*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / prevention & control
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Life Style*
  • Pregnancy
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss