Limited research has been done on the compliance and acceptability of maintaining pedometer diaries for an extensive time frame in community-based interventions targeting minority populations.
Community “coaches” led participants in a 6-month community-based walking intervention that included wearing pedometers and maintaining pedometer diaries for the study duration. Descriptive statistics and ANOVA tests were used to evaluate compliance rates for maintaining diaries and daily step counts. After the intervention, focus groups were used to explore opinions regarding pedometers. Audiotapes were transcribed and evaluated using systematic content analysis.
The 8 coaches and 75 enrolled walking participants were primarily African American (98%) women (94%). Overall, the group (N = 83) submitted 85% of all possible pedometer diaries and recorded 73% of all possible daily step counts. Walking-group members were significantly (P < .01) more compliant if their coach was also compliant. Identified benefits of wearing pedometers and maintaining diaries outnumbered the barriers. Participants were enthusiastic about wearing the pedometers and indicated that the weekly diaries provided a source of motivation.
This research suggests pedometer diaries are a viable intervention tool and research method for community-based physical activity interventions targeting African Americans and highlights the need for social support to promote pedometer diary compliance.
Zoellner, Avis-Williams, and Yadrick are with the Dept of Nutrition and Food Systems, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS. Powers is with the Dept of Health and Exercise Science, Furman University, Greenville, SC. Ndirangu is with the Div of Nutrition, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. Strickland is with the Agriculture Research Service, US Dept of Agriculture, Little Rock, AR.