Background. Regular physical activity is an important lifestyle behavior for preventing or reducing the burden of osteoporosis, and for promoting optimal bone health. This report evaluates the effect of an osteoporosis education program on knowledge, self-efficacy, and initiation and/maintenance of physical activity (PA) in older African Americans. Methods. African American adults 50 years and older (n=130) were randomly assigned to either experimental (EG) or control (CG) groups. Immediately following baseline assessment EG was offered six-weekly education sessions, using the Expanded Heath Belief Model and the CG offered same after the intervention. Main outcome measures were knowledge and self-efficacy regarding osteoporosis and engagement in PA. Results. One hundred and ten (59=EG, 51=CG) participants completed all assessments. Overall, significantly higher (p<.01) mean self-efficacy and knowledge scores were observed in the EG than in the CG. Physical activity scores were positively related to self-efficacy but not knowledge scores. Conclusions. Self-efficacy is important in increasing PA in older African Americans, and emphasis on culturally appropriate strategies may improve PA and reduce the risk of osteoporotic fracture.


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pp. 1223-1234
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