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Factors associated with physical activity levels in African–American women with type 2 diabetes


Melanie Komar-Samardzija, PhD, MSN, FNP-BC, University of Chicago Medical Center, 5841 S. Maryland, MC 7120, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-836-7107; E-mail:


Abstract Purpose: To examine how family/friend social support, exercise self-efficacy, physical environment, sense of community, social issues and roles, socioeconomic status, and body image discrepancy influence physical activity levels in African American females with type 2 diabetes.

Data sources: A sample of 50 African American females with type 2 diabetes was recruited from a Midwest diabetes center for this descriptive, cross-sectional, correlational study. A series of self-report instruments were administered to examine the relationships between the independent study variables and physical activity levels.

Conclusions: Results of the study suggested that higher levels of exercise self-efficacy, family social support for exercise, and a decrease in physical environmental barriers may serve to increase physical activity levels in this population. No significant relationships were observed between the other study variables and physical activity levels.

Implications for practice: Nurse practitioners working with African American females with type 2 diabetes need to assess family social support, exercise self-efficacy, and physical environmental barriers and plan interventions that incorporate family support and the principles of self-efficacy while minimizing environmental barriers. Further exploration is warranted to examine the relationship between body image discrepancy and physical activity in this population.