DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There is a low prevalence of physical activity in Latinas, which likely contributes to the high rates of chronic diseases in this community. In the proposed study, we use a multilevel and multidisciplinary approach to develop a lay health advisor or promotora intervention that will target individual and physical environmental correlates of physical activity. The intervention concept was deemed feasible in pilot data involving churchgoing Latinas, church leaders, and experienced promotoras. The current study aims to achieve the following goals: 1) develop and standardize a promotora manual incorporating focus group data collected from churchgoing Latinas, religious leaders, experienced promotoras, and input from expert investigators in intervention development and physical activity promotion, 2) conduct a small scale pilot and feasibility study consisting of 6 months of individual and 12 months of environmental level efforts, and 3) provide preliminary evaluation of intervention influences on individual and environmental correlates of physical activity. Within this scope of work, we will evaluate effective recruitment and cohort maintenance strategies, effective strategies of involving churchgoing Latinas of all ages who engage in various levels of physical activity in program activities, participant acceptability of the intervention, whether the number of promotoras involved is adequate in implementing individual and environmental level program activities, and the feasibility of involving promotoras in advocating for changes in the built environment. Individual level changes will be assessed by comparing the number of minutes participants engage in physical activity and values from psychosocial predictors of physical activity between baseline and post-intervention. Changes in the built environment will be assessed through the collection of process evaluation measures and comparisons in the environmental audit values between baseline and post-intervention. The proposed intervention is novel in that it will involve promotoras advocating for and creating change at multiple levels of influence (individual and physical environment) to promote physical activity. Findings from the proposed study will inform the development of a randomized community control trial evaluating the effectiveness of a church-based promotora model alone, and in combination with a broader environmental change approach, to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among adult Latinas in contrast with those in attention-control churches.
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