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Pilot Trial of a Home-based Physical Activity Program for African American Women


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: December 2017 - Volume 49 - Issue 12 - p 2528–2536
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001370
Applied Sciences

Purpose This study aimed to assess the feasibility of a Home-based, Individually-tailored Physical activity Print (HIPP) intervention for African American women in the Deep South.

Methods A pilot randomized trial of the HIPP intervention (N = 43) versus wellness contact control (N = 41) was conducted. Recruitment, retention, and adherence were examined, along with physical activity (7-d physical activity recalls, accelerometers) and related psychosocial variables at baseline and 6 months.

Results The sample included 84 overweight/obese African American women 50–69 yr old in Birmingham, AL. Retention was high at 6 months (90%). Most participants reported being satisfied with the HIPP program and finding it helpful (91.67%). There were no significant between-group differences in physical activity (P = 0.22); however, HIPP participants reported larger increases (mean of +73.9 min·wk−1 (SD 90.9)) in moderate-intensity or greater physical activity from baseline to 6 months compared with the control group (+41.5 min·wk−1 (64.4)). The HIPP group also reported significantly greater improvements in physical activity goal setting (P = 0.02) and enjoyment (P = 0.04) from baseline to 6 months compared with the control group. There were no other significant between-group differences (6-min walk test, weight, physical activity planning, behavioral processes, stage of change); however, trends in the data for cognitive processes, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and family support for physical activity indicated small improvements for HIPP participants (P > 0.05) and declines for control participants. Significant decreases in decisional balance (P = 0.01) and friend support (P = 0.03) from baseline to 6 months were observed in the control arm and not the intervention arm.

Conclusions The HIPP intervention has great potential as a low-cost, high-reach method for reducing physical activity–related health disparities. The lack of improvement in some domains may indicate that additional resources are needed to help this target population reach national guidelines.

1School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; 2College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ; 3Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; 4School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; 5School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, RI; and 6Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Address for correspondence: Rodney P. Joseph, Ph.D., College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, 500 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004; E-mail:

Submitted for publication March 2017.

Accepted for publication June 2017.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine