This study evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of translating the evidence-based program, Fit & Strong!, into a Spanish program, ¡En Forma y Fuerte!. A single-group, quasi-experimental design (n = 34, mean age = 58.8 [8.1], 87.2% female, 87.2% reported speaking mostly Spanish) was used to assess implementation feasibility and the impact of ¡En Forma y Fuerte! on arthritis-related outcomes in Hispanics with arthritis. Significant improvements in lower-extremity strength, perceived physical function, and pain were observed from baseline to 8 weeks (p < .05); these improvements were maintained at 6 months. Significant improvements in aerobic endurance and stiffness were observed from baseline to 6 months (p < .05). No major program adaptations (other than language) were observed or reported. However, the instructors provided several suggestions for program improvements, including adjusting the literacy level and length of the program. Findings suggest ¡En Forma y Fuerte! is feasible and effective, potentially providing a much-needed program for older Hispanics with arthritis.
Der Ananian and Meacham are with School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ. Smith-Ray and Hughes are with Center for Research on Health and Aging, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL. Shah is with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, IL.