Dance/Modified Yoga: A Health Strategy for African-American Women at Risk for Chronic Diseases

Johnson, Candace, Nursing - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Taylor, Ann, School of Nursing, University of Virginia

African-American (AA) women are the segment of the population that experiences the highest incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Yoga has been shown to decrease the risk of MetS, yet there have been no yoga studies of AA women with or at risk for MetS. The purpose of this 4-week study was to test the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally-tailored, Internet-based intervention, yogic dance (YD), using digital videos in a sample of AA women (ages 35-64) at risk for MetS. The study examined a) the rates of participant eligibility, accrual, attrition, and reasons for attrition; b) the feasibility of using the Internet to assess study participation and to deliver the intervention; c) the acceptability of the structured intervention; and d) any other benefits and/or limitations of the intervention. The study used a single-group, mixed-methods design underpinned by social constructivist theory and Pender’s Health Promotion Model. Twenty-four study participants were recruited and completed the study. After completing in-person screening and baseline measures using the Pre-Screening Checklist, Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire, Eligibility Screening Checklist, Individual Characteristics Form, and Internet-based International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), consented participants engaged in the 4-week Internet-based YD video intervention. After the 4-week YD intervention, participants were invited to participate in one of two audiotaped focus groups to voice their perceptions of barriers to and benefits from YD and the acceptability of using the YD intervention. In addition, data derived from the rates of participant eligibility, accrual, attrition, and the number of completed study measures were calculated. Focus group data were analyzed using content/thematic analysis and matched with themes from write-in responses to paper surveys. The majority (86%) of the women in the study found YD feasible as a complementary, health enhancing modality. Themes that emerged from the focus groups included: a) stress is both a motivator for and a barrier to participating in more YD; b) social support is an important mediator for YD; and c) cultural dance favorably enhances the YD experience. The integrated results from this mixed-methods study will form the foundation for a program of research exploring the complex determinants that influence health promotion behaviors in AA women.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
African-American, women, health, health promotion, yoga, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, nurse managed health center, physical activity, dance, community, family
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