Rationale, design, and baseline findings from Seamos Saludables: a randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a culturally and linguistically adapted, computer- tailored physical activity intervention for Latinas

Dori Pekmezi, Shira Dunsiger, Kim Gans, Beth Bock, Ronnesia Gaskins, Becky Marquez, Christina Lee, Charles Neighbors, Ernestine Jennings, Peter Tilkemeier, Bess Marcus
Contemporary Clinical Trials 2012, 33 (6): 1261-71

BACKGROUND: Latinos are now the largest (and fastest growing) ethnic minority group in the United States. Latinas report high rates of physical inactivity and suffer disproportionately from obesity, diabetes, and other conditions that are associated with sedentary lifestyles. Effective physical activity interventions are urgently needed to address these health disparities.

METHOD/DESIGN: An ongoing randomized controlled trial will test the efficacy of a home-based, individually tailored physical activity print intervention for Latinas (1R01NR011295). This program was culturally and linguistically adapted for the target population through extensive formative research (6 focus groups, 25 cognitive interviews, iterative translation process). This participant feedback was used to inform intervention development. Then, 268 sedentary Latinas were randomly assigned to receive either the Tailored Intervention or the Wellness Contact Control arm. The intervention, based on Social Cognitive Theory and the Transtheoretical Model, consists of six months of regular mailings of motivation-matched physical activity manuals and tip sheets and individually tailored feedback reports generated by a computer expert system, followed by a tapered dose of mailings during the second six months (maintenance phase). The main outcome is change in minutes/week of physical activity at six months and one year as measured by the 7-Day Physical Activity Recall (7-Day PAR). To validate these findings, accelerometer data will be collected at the same time points.

DISCUSSION: High reach, low cost, culturally relevant interventions to encourage physical activity among Latinas could help reduce health disparities and thus have a substantial positive impact on public health.

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