Online Program

Community-based partnership to evaluate the influence of an online physical activity intervention on weight maintenance for rural midlife women

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Teresa Hultquist, PhD, PHCNS, BC, College of Nursing, UNMC, Omaha, NE
Carol Pullen, EdD, RN, College of Nursing, UNMC, Omaha, NE
Melody Hertzog, PhD, College of Nursing, UNMC, Lincoln, NE
Sarah Williamson, MSN, RN, Southeast District Health Department, Auburn, NE
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in adult women. Rural women are more likely to have limited access to safe environments for physical activity, be physically inactive, and obese; which increases CVD risk.  Research suggests weight loss of 5-10% of initial body weight, if maintained, can result in clinically meaningful CVD-related health benefits.  Unfortunately, many individuals return to their original weight within five years. A community-based randomized six-month pilot study (partnership between a rural public health department and nursing researchers) promoted physical activity via theory-based online interventions to maintain weight loss.  Rural women aged 40-64 (n=52) who reported losing at least 5% of their body weight in the last 6 months participated. The majority (65%) had lost weight 3 or more times.  Rate of attrition differed significantly between the intervention group (n=14/25 completed) and a standard advice group (n=23/27 completed), which may demonstrate the difficulty in managing active participation in health behavior change interventions, particularly for rural women with limited environmental support for physical activity. Differences between groups (favoring the intervention group) were significant for systolic blood pressure (p=.004, η2=.215), weight (p=.044, η2=.114), and BMI (p=.033, η2=.127). Diastolic blood pressure (p=.079, η2=.088) and waist circumference (p=.094, η2=.081) showed moderate effects. Ninety-three percent of the intervention group maintained their weight over the 6-month study period, compared to 35% of the standard advice group (p=.057).  Further research is needed to develop targeted strategies to assist rural midlife women as they face challenges in weight loss and maintenance efforts.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify environmental barriers to physical activity that may lead to health disparities for rural women and possible solutions to mitigate those barriers. Evaluate rural women’s weight maintenance experiences and outcomes, including online interventions used to support weight maintenance.

Keyword(s): Rural Health, Weight Management

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator for federal grants related to supporting health behavior change in chronic conditions (diabetes, weight maintenance), particularly for rural populations. Among my scientific interests has been measuring self-reported health of populations and the influence health perception has on health behavior. I have developed online interventions for supporting health behavior changes, including physical activity action plans used by rural midlife women to support weight maintenance after weight loss.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.