Older Ethnic Minority Women's Perceptions of Stroke Prevention and Walking

Published in: Women's Health Issues, v. 67, no. 1, Jan. 2016, p. 86-93

Posted on RAND.org on November 02, 2015

by Ivy Kwon, Nazleen Bharmal, Sarah Choi, Daniel Araiza, Mignon R. Moore, Laura Trejo, Catherine A. Sarkisian

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OBJECTIVE: To inform the development of a tailored behavioral stroke risk reduction intervention for ethnic minority seniors, we sought to explore gender differences in perceptions of stroke prevention and physical activity (walking). Methods: In collaboration with community-based organizations, we conducted 12 mixed-gender focus groups of African American, Latino, Chinese, and Korean seniors aged 60 years and older with a history of hypertension (89 women and 42 men). Transcripts were coded and recurring topics compared by gender. RESULTS: Women expressed beliefs that differed from men in 4 topic areas: 1) stroke-related interest, 2) barriers to walking, 3) facilitators to walking, and 4) health behavior change attitudes. Compared with men, women were more interested in their role in response to a stroke and post-stroke care. Women described walking as an acceptable form of exercise, but cited neighborhood safety and pain as walking barriers. Fear of nursing home placement and weight loss were identified as walking facilitators. Women were more prone than men to express active/control attitudes toward health behavior change. CONCLUSIONS: Older ethnic minority women, a high-risk population for stroke, may be more receptive to behavioral interventions that address the gender-specific themes identified by this study.

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