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Pilot 1


Weight Maintenance through Physical Activity To Improve Health Management, Resourcefulness and Health Status in Rural Middle-Aged Women

Teresa Barry-Hultquist, PhD, RN

Teresa Barry-Hultquist, PhD, RN

Principal Investigator


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in women.  Rural women are thought to be more vulnerable to CVD compared to their urban counterparts because of geographical barriers, including poor access to health care and health promotion programs.  Rural women are less active and consume higher fat diets than urban women, both contributing to obesity; an important risk factor for CVD.  Research suggests that weight loss of 5-10% of initial body weight can result in clinically meaningful CVD-related health benefits as long as the weight loss is maintained.  Unfortunately, many individuals begin to regain weight within a year following initial weight loss and return to their original body weight within five years. 

The purposes of this project are to evaluate: 1) feasibility and ease of use of a theory-based intervention using technology, and 2) influence of the intervention to maintain initial weight loss by promoting physical activity to improve health management, resourcefulness and health status.  The target population is rural women able to do physical activity, aged 45-64 years, with a reported weight loss of 5-10% of initial body weight within the previous 3 months.

The initial study testing the feasibility and ease of use of the intervention will be completed with 5 women.  The larger pilot study will use an experimental, two-group (n=25 per group) repeated measures design over 6 months to compare the intervention (Group 1) to promote personal efficacy, help seeking, and engagement in health behavior (using action plans, videos, discussion boards and health behavior tracking) to standard advice (Group 2) to promote help seeking and engagement in health behavior (using newsletters and health behavior tracking). The primary outcome will be weight maintenance: a) change in body weight and b) proportion of participants with weight gain of < 2.3 kg from baseline weight; less than what is expected with normal daily fluctuation. Secondary outcomes include: a) health management (calorie balance and physical activity), b) resourcefulness (self-control schedule and patient activation measure), and c) health status (self-reported health status/ QALYs and biomarkers). The use of a technology-based weight maintenance intervention promoting improved health management, resourcefulness and health status in rural women is innovative as the action plans, videos, discussion boards, and health behavior trackers support and empower women to take charge of their own health behavior change.  The information from this pilot study will be used to substantiate future grant applications using a fully powered study to formally test hypotheses.


Demographic and Rural Variables Tools

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Questionnaire-Physical Activity

Actigraph Accelerometer

EQ-5D (Euro-Qol Group measure of health status) 


Patricia Hagemen, PhD, PT, UNMC-SAHP     phageman@unmc.edu

Carol H. Pullen, EdD, RN     UNMC-CON       chpullen@unmc.edu