Mujeres Fuertes y Corazones Saludables, a Culturally Tailored Physical Activity and Nutrition Program for Rural Latinas: Findings from a Pilot Study

Rebecca A. Seguin, Cynthia Perry, Emma Solanki, Jean C. McCalmont, Judy P. Ward, Christie Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the United States, Latino adults, compared with non-Hispanic white adults, are less likely to meet physical activity and dietary recommendations, and have higher rates of obesity. There is an urgent need for culturally adapted health promotion programs that meet the needs of the growing Latino population in the United States. We systematically adapted StrongWomen-Healthy Hearts, an evidence-based physical activity and nutrition program, for rural Latinas. This paper reports results from a pilot study of the adapted program. We used mixed methods to assess the feasibility and efficacy of the adapted program, Mujeres Fuertes y Corazones Saludables, in a nonprofit community organization serving rural Latinos. The intervention consisted of sixty-minute classes held twice weekly for 12 weeks and included 30 minutes of physical activity and 30 minutes of nutrition education. To assess efficacy, we used a one-group, pre⁻post design with overweight/obese, sedentary, middle-aged or older, Spanish-speaking rural Latinas (n = 15). Outcome measures included weight, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, dietary behavior, and self-efficacy for diet and physical activity. Process outcomes included attendance, end of class surveys, mid-program evaluation survey, and a post-program focus group. We calculated means and standard deviations, paproired t-tests, and Cohen's D effect size. Qualitative data were analyzed using qualitative description. Significant changes pre- to post-program included weight (-1.5 kg; p = 0.009), BMI (-0.6; p = 0.005), waist circumference (-3.0 cm; p = 0.008), 6-minute walk test (69.7 m; p < 0.001), frequency of sugar-added drink consumption (-0.7 servings; p = 0.008), fruit and vegetable intake (1.3 servings; p = 0.035), and physical activity self-efficacy (0.9 points; p = 0.022). Participants found the program motivating and enjoyable, and on average participants attended 62% of classes and fidelity was maintained. This pilot study suggests that this culturally adapted physical activity and nutrition program for rural Latinas shows promise in improving physical activity, diet, and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 21 2019

Keywords

  • health promotion
  • Latina
  • nutrition
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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