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Research Project: Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity Related Health Behaviors in Children and Their Environment

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Title: Enhanced curriculum intervention did not result in increased postnatal physical activity in rural, Southern, primarily African American women

Author
item Thomson, Jessica
item Tussing-humphreys, Lisa - University Of Illinois
item Goodman, Melissa
item Landry, Alicia - University Of Central Arkansas

Submitted to: American Journal of Health Promotion
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2017
Publication Date: 11/1/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5863770
Citation: Thomson, J.L., Tussing-Humphreys, L.M., Goodman, M.H., Landry, A.S. 2017. Enhanced curriculum intervention did not result in increased postnatal physical activity in rural, Southern, primarily African American women. American Journal of Health Promotion. 32(2):1-9.

Interpretive Summary: Performing recommended amounts of daily physical activity is difficult for all individuals, but perhaps more so for women who have recently given birth. This is troublesome given the known benefits of postnatal physical activity including improved fitness, decreased fatigue, better sleep, and stress relief. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare longitudinal physical activity behaviors and beliefs of Delta Healthy Sprouts participants during the postnatal period. From September 2013 to May 2016, 54 postpartum women residing in the three rural counties in Mississippi were followed for 12 months. The experimental treatment of the intervention built upon the Parents as Teachers curriculum (control treatment) by adding culturally tailored, maternal weight management and early childhood obesity prevention components. Postnatal retention rates were 83% (25/30) and 88% (21/24) for control and experimental groups, respectively. Weekly minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were 28 and 50 minutes, on average, at postnatal months 1 and 12 in the control group, and 40 minutes, on average, for both time points in the experimental arm. Neither treatment was effective at increasing postnatal physical activity nor improving related beliefs in this cohort of rural, Southern women. Clearly interventions designed to address sedentary behavior of rural, Southern, African American women in the early postnatal period are sorely needed because these women are at high risk for physical inactivity.

Technical Abstract: Purpose. To test the impact of two home visiting curricula on postnatal physical activity in rural, Southern, 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 an established home visiting curricula (n = 30) or an enhanced diet and physical activity curricula (n = 24) 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 (n = 30) and 40 minutes for both time points in the experimental arm (n = 24). While a significant time effect was found, pairwise comparisons failed to reach statistical significance. Conclusion. Neither treatment was effective at increasing postnatal physical activity or related psychosocial construct measures in this cohort of rural, Southern women.