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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB Uses Web-based Technology to Promote Physical Activity in Latinas

Latinas in the United States report high levels of physical inactivity and are disproportionally burdened by related health conditions (e.g., type 2 diabetes and obesity), which highlights the need for innovative strategies to reduce these disparities. Dr. Dorothy Pekmezi, assistant professor in the department of health behavior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Dr. Tanya J. Benitez, of Arizona State University, utilized a one-month single-arm pretest-posttest design to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally and linguistically adapted Internet-based physical activity intervention for Spanish-speaking Latinas. UAB co-investigators are Dr. Andrea L. Cherrington, assistant professor in the department of health behavior, and Dr. Karen Meneses, professor in the School of Nursing.

[Photo: Dr. Dorothy Pekmezi]

The intervention was based on the Social Cognitive Theory and the Transtheoretical Model. Changes in physical activity and related psychosocial variables were measured at baseline and the end of the 1-month intervention. The sample included 24 Latina adults (mean age, 35.17 ± 11.22 years). Most (83.3 percent) were born outside the continental United States. Intent-to-treat analyses showed a significant increase (P = .001) in self-reported moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity from a median of 12.5 minutes per week at baseline to 67.5 minutes per week at the 1-month assessment. Participants reported significant increases in self-efficacy as well as cognitive and behavioral processes of change. Nearly half of the participants (45.8 percent) reported advancing at least one stage of change during the course of the 1-month intervention.

Study findings support the feasibility and acceptability of using interactive Internet-based technology to promote physical activity among Latinas in Alabama.

“Using Web-Based Technology to Promote Physical Activity in Latinas: Results of the Muévete Alabama Pilot Study” was published online in June in the journal Computers Informatics Nursing.

Journal article: