Title

Dissemination of physical activity promotion interventions in underserved populations.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2006

Abstract

Achieving minimum physical activity levels of 30 or more minutes per day will require a variety of intervention strategies to engage each segment of an aging and increasingly ethnically diverse U.S. population. This article presents a focused review of the sparse literature on the diffusion of evidence-based physical activity interventions that are culturally appropriate for underserved populations. Related literature and experiential insights inform this discussion, because so few published studies report outcome data beyond the first diffusion phase of intervention development and evaluation. Three brief case studies are presented to further illustrate and exemplify key concepts and processes at several different stages in diffusing physical activity interventions. Successful engagement of underserved populations reflects a delicate balance between embracing group customs and values and recognizing the nonmonolithic nature of any sociodemographically defined group. The costs of failing to promulgate effective physical activity interventions in these groups continue to mount, in dollars, health, and lives. Researchers, practitioners, decision makers, and policymakers must partner to bridge the evidentiary gap so that the physically active lifestyle choices become the easier choices.

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