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Enhanced Curriculum Intervention Did Not Result in Increased Postnatal Physical Activity in Rural, Southern, Primarily African American Women

Thomson, Jessica L., Tussing-Humphreys, Lisa M., Goodman, Melissa H., Landry, Alicia S.
American Journal of Health Promotion 2017 pp. 1-9
African Americans, attitudes and opinions, childhood obesity, curriculum, health education, health promotion, lifestyle, mothers, physical activity, postpartum period, randomized clinical trials, rural areas, self-efficacy, social support, teachers, weight control, women, Mississippi
Purpose: To test the impact of an enhanced home visiting curriculum on postnatal physical activity in rural, Southern, primarily African American mothers. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Three rural counties in Mississippi. Subjects: Between September 2013 and May 2016, 54 postpartum women randomized to standard home visiting curriculum (n = 30 control) or lifestyle enhanced home visiting curriculum (n = 24 experimental) were followed for 12 months. Intervention: The experimental arm of the intervention built upon the Parents as Teachers curriculum (control arm) by adding culturally tailored, maternal weight management and early childhood obesity prevention components. Measures: Physical activity behavior and related psychosocial constructs including attitudes, expectations, self-efficacy, social support, and barriers. Analysis: Generalized linear mixed models were applied to test for treatment and time effects on physical activity and related psychosocial constructs. Results: Postnatal retention rates were 83% and 88% for control and experimental arms, respectively. Mean weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were 28 and 50 minutes at postnatal months 1 and 12 in the control arm and 40 minutes for both time points in the experimental arm. While a significant time effect was found, pairwise comparisons failed to reach statistical significance. Conclusion: The enhanced treatment was not effective at increasing postnatal physical activity nor improving related psychosocial construct measures in this cohort of rural, Southern women.