Title page for ETD etd-06282005-170859

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Dutton, Gareth R
Author's Email Address gdutto1@lsu.edu
URN etd-06282005-170859
Title Effects of a Primary Care Weight Management Intervention on Physical Activity in Low-Income African American Women
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Phillip J. Brantley Committee Chair
Amy Copeland Committee Member
Mary Lou Kelley Committee Member
Pamela Davis Martin Committee Member
Tracey Rizzuto Committee Member
Michael Keenan Dean's Representative
  • physical activity
  • primary care
  • african american
  • women
Date of Defense 2005-05-09
Availability unrestricted
Although physical inactivity is associated with numerous medical conditions, most individuals do not engage in recommended levels of physical activity. Certain subgroups of the population are particularly inactive, including women, African Americans, and individuals with lower income and less education. While research suggests that interventions targeting physical activity can produce significant improvements in activity and cardiorespiratory fitness, there is less research examining physical activity interventions for these at-risk groups. In particular, there is a lack of research examining primary care physical activity interventions among low-income, African American women. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a physician-delivered physical activity intervention that served as part of a multi-component weight loss intervention for predominantly low-income, African American women.

Current results suggest that the primary care intervention did not produce significant improvements in physical activity as measured by self-reported activity. Also, the intervention was not associated with improved cardiorespiratory fitness as measured by heart rate recovery following a brief exercise. However, a significantly greater proportion of intervention participants achieved current activity recommendations of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. Over 90% of intervention participants achieved this level of activity at post-treatment compared with approximately 77% of standard care participants, χ2(1, N = 139) = 4.70, p < .03. These mixed results highlight the need for continued research examining physical activity interventions implemented in primary care settings as well as programs targeting low-income, African Americans.

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