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Women Health. 2011 Aug 31;51(6):566-82. doi: 10.1080/03630242.2011.606357.

Women's walking program for African American women: expectations and recommendations from participants as experts.

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College of Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Effective interventions that increase adherence to physical activity are important for African American women because generally they are less active and more obese compared to white American women. The purpose of the authors in this study was to elicit from women who began a 12-month physical activity program between 2002 and 2005: (1) their recollections of outcome expectations and barriers, (2) feedback on program components, and (3) suggestions for program change. In 2007, the authors conducted qualitative post-intervention focus group interviews with women who had participated in the enhanced treatment group. Thirty-three African American women aged 44-69 years at the time of the study participated in one of four focus groups held at their community intervention site. Focus groups were formed on the basis of low (walked<50% of expected walks) versus high (walked≄50% of expected walks) adherence and low (0-2) versus high (3-4) attendance at the four workshops held during the 6-month adoption phase. Audio-taped sessions were transcribed, coded independently, and then uploaded into NVivo7 for final coding and data analysis. Suggestions for future program components include a lifestyle physical activity prescription, pedometers for self-monitoring, ongoing group support, and automated telephone support. Focus group participants can serve as experts to assist in content development for improving program effectiveness.

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