Physical inactivity significantly impacts mortality worldwide. Physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions. African American women in the United States have the highest rates of physical inactivity when compared with other gender/ethnic groups.1 A paucity of research promoting physical activity (PA) in African American women has been previously identified. The purpose of this review was to identify intervention strategies and outcomes in studies designed to promote PA in African American women.
Interventions that promoted PA in African American women published between 2000 and May 2015 were included. A comprehensive search of the literature was performed in Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, PsycINFO, CINAHL Complete, and MEDLINE Complete databases. Data were abstracted and synthesized to examine interventions, study designs, theoretical frameworks, and measures of PA.
Mixed findings (both significant and nonsignificant) were identified. Interventions included faith-based, group-based, and individually focused programs. All studies (n = 32) included measures of PA; among the studies, self-report was the predominant method for obtaining information. Half of the 32 studies focused on PA, and the remaining studies focused on PA and nutrition. Most studies reported an increase in PA or adherence to PA. This review reveals promising strategies for promoting PA.
Future studies should include long-term follow-up, larger sample sizes, and objective measures of PA. Additional research promoting PA in African American women is warranted, particularly in studies that focus on increasing PA in older African American women.
Felicia Jenkins, MSN, RN Doctoral Student, College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Senior Instructor, University of South Carolina Upstate, Spartanburg.
Carolyn Jenkins, DrPH, APRN, RD, LD, FAAN Professor, College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.
Mathew J. Gregoski, PhD, MS Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.
Gayenell S. Magwood, PhD, RN Associate Professor, College of Nursing and Chair, Department of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.
C.J. is supported by National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (Grant # R15 NR009486) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant # U58 DP001015 and # U50 DP422184). G.S.M. is supported by National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (Grant # K01 NR013195) and National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (Grant # R34 DK097724). The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, or National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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Correspondence Felicia Jenkins, MSN, RN, College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina, 99 Jonathan Lucas St, Charleston, SC 29425 (firstname.lastname@example.org).