Transl J Am Coll Sports Med 2016 Jun;1(6):52-59
Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.
Purpose: South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Nepalis, and Bhutanese) in the United States have a very high prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). This pilot study evaluated a culturally-tailored exercise intervention among South Asian immigrant mothers with DM risk factors.
Methods: Through an academic-community partnership, South Asian women with risk factors for DM and who had at least one child between 6-14 years were enrolled into this single-arm study. The intervention for the mothers included 16-weeks of twice weekly exercise classes, self-monitoring with activity trackers, goal-setting, and classes on healthy eating. Based on prior community-based participatory research, children were offered exercise classes during the mothers' classes. The primary efficacy outcomes were change in mothers' moderate/vigorous physical activity and body weight pre- and post-intervention (16-weeks). Program adherence, clinical, and psychosocial outcomes were measured. A qualitative process evaluation was conducted to understand participant perspectives.
Results: Participants' (n=30) average age was 40 (SD=5) years., 57% had a high school education or less, and all were overweight/obese.. At baseline, women were not meeting recommended physical activity guidelines. Overall, participants attended 75% of exercise classes. Compared to baseline, participants' weight decreased by 3.2 lbs. (95% CI: -5.5, -1.0) post-intervention. Among women who attended at least 80% of classes (n=17), weight change was -4.8 lbs, (95% CI: -7.7, -1.9). Change in accelerometer-measured physical activity was not significant; however exercise-related confidence increased from baseline (p-value <0.01). Women described multiple physical and psychosocial benefits from the intervention.
Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that a culturally-tailored exercise intervention that included exercise classes for children was feasible and had physical and psychosocial benefits in South Asian mothers with risk factors for DM.