BAILA TECH – Technology and Exercise in the Hispanic Community
Gouveia Marques, Isabela
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More than 21 million Latinos 55 years and older live in the U.S. Older Latinos have low levels of leisure-time physical activity (PA) and dance is a culturally relevant form of PA. Mobile technology ownership is increasing among older Latinos; therefore, mobile health could be an appropriate strategy to promote PA among this population. Six focus groups were conducted with 27 middle-aged and older Latinos to identify older Latinos’ perceptions with technology, and suggestions for the intervention protocol. Most participants reported being interested in learning about new technologies such as text messages and the PA wearable tracker. Then a single group pre-post feasibility trial using the BAILAMOS© dance program combined with a PA wearable tracker, associated mobile application, and text messages was conducted for 16 weeks with middle-aged and older Latinos. At baseline and post-intervention participants completed PA questionnaires. Cohens’d was calculated for pre-post questionnaires. Classes were held twice a week for two hours each session. The first 30 minutes were devoted to a mobile health technology class, followed by one hour of the BAILAMOS© Latin dance program, and an extra 30 minutes of technology practice. Participants wore a wrist PA tracker (Fitbit Charge 2) for 19 weeks and received weekly text messages for the last 12 weeks of the program. Feasibility was assessed by recruitment capability; acceptability and suitability; and resources. Fifty-one middle-aged and older Latinos who owned a smartphone were assessed for eligibility and 20 participants (39%) started the intervention (female n=15, M age = 67 years old, SD = 7.11). Twenty participants (100%) wore the wearable for the entire program and completed post intervention data collection, and 17 participants (85%) completed the dance program. Large effect sizes were observed for self-reported light PA (d = .93), moderate PA (d = 1.19), and moderate-vigorous PA (d = 1.05). Medium effect sizes were observed for device-assessed moderate-vigorous PA (d = .69), and small effect sizes for device-assessed steps (d = .45). A mobile health-infused dance program appears feasible for middle-aged and older Latinos. These preliminary data demonstrate the potential of a mHealth-infused dance intervention to increase older Latinos’ PA.