Study design and setting
Several strategies were used to deliver the MYW program in Las Vegas. Through Communicate Health, the ODPHP paid for social media that promoted the MYW campaign among Hispanic audiences in the community. During the spring, summer, and early fall of 2021, the SNHD organized and delivered community-based intervention programs. Numerous strategies were employed that included the distribution of MYW materials such as PA fact sheets and pamphlets, and hosted MYW events in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods that provided opportunities to engage in PA and learn about MYW. MYW materials articulated the 2018 PA guidelines (150 min/week of MPA or 75 min of VPA per week and muscle-strengthening activities performed at least twice weekly). Materials were available in Spanish and English and were disseminated in person at events by SNHD staff. MYW materials were also distributed at other events, including COVID-19 vaccination clinics, PA classes, a YM/YWCA dance party, a virtual 5-kilometer footrace, and an online Girls on the Run event. The SNHD website also houses a link to MYW campaign information .
Upon completion of the MYW intervention events in mid-September 2021, our research team commenced data collection that assessed the PA knowledge, intentions, and behaviors of the target population. The Framework for Outcome Assessment , sometimes used in physical activity knowledge and behavior outcome evaluation, proports that using a survey to assess self-reported health outcomes and related knowledge or attitudes is acceptable. Much of the data collection occurred at community events, 13 of which were described as “resource fair/vaccination clinics,” where attendees could receive COVID-19 vaccinations and a range of health-related materials and services. Skin care, vision and hearing tests, body fat assessment, and other services were provided. Data were also collected at two community celebrations and two free food distributions. At all events, those who approached our booth/table were asked if they were interested in completing a PA knowledge and behavior survey. Prospective participants were also informed that upon completion of the survey, which consumed 5–7 min, they would receive a $5 Walmart gift card. All data collections were held in geographic areas where at least 50% of residents identified as Hispanic. Data collection was completed in early March 2022. The project was approved by the university’s Office of Research Integrity (Protocol 1772545-1).
At all survey sites, at least one student and a university faculty member were situated at a table adorned with a banner announcing our university affiliation and a sign explaining that we were conducting a study addressing exercise/PA knowledge and behavior. Those who agreed to participate used their phones to access the survey via a QR code. The survey was available in English and Spanish. The English version had been translated into Spanish and back-translated to ensure accuracy and cultural relevance. Minor differences were discussed, and a final version was agreed upon. Respondents without access to smart phones (< 15%) were given the option to take the survey using available iPads.
Inclusion criteria were that participants were between 18 and 74 years of age, self-identified as Hispanic, and reported living in the Las Vegas Metropolitan area. Since the survey was available in both English and Spanish, participants were instructed to select the survey language with which they were most comfortable. We additionally collected 123 online surveys via the data collection agency, Qualtrics (Provo, UT) . These surveys were completed in English over a two-week period in late February.
The survey consisted of 38–42 items, depending on responses to specific items and their associated skip-logic patterns. Demographic data were gathered. Variables related to the MYW campaign exposure were gleaned from questions regarding whether participants had: (1) SHR anything about the MYW campaign in the past six months; (2) seen the MYW logo over the same time period, and (3) SHR anything about federally-created PA guidelines from any source. Frequency and duration of being physically active was measured by asking, “In a typical week, how many days do you do any aerobic physical activity of at least moderate intensity, such as brisk walking, bicycling, using a cardio machine, or swimming?” and, “On the days that you do any physical activity of at least moderate intensity, how long (in minutes) do you typically do these activities?” The same questions were used for VPA. The following equation was employed to determine if the aerobic guideline had been met, (minutes VPA x 2) + minutes MPA ≥ 150).
Frequency of muscle-strengthening exercise was measured by asking, “In a typical week, how many days do you do physical activities specifically designed to strengthen your muscles, such as lifting weights or body weight exercises (like push-ups)?” To measure intention to become more physically active, respondents were asked, “How likely are you to become more physically active in the next six months?” Response choices were, “extremely unlikely, somewhat unlikely, somewhat likely, extremely likely.” For analysis, “extremely unlikely” and “unlikely” were combined into “unlikely.” The same grouping strategy was used for the “extremely likely” and “likely” responses. Those who responded “somewhat” or “extremely” likely were designated as PA “contemplators.” There were also eight items presented on a 1–10 scale that measured respondents’ confidence (self-efficacy) that they could overcome PA barriers (bad weather, bored by PA, PA-related pain, exercising alone, feeling tired, busy with other activities, not enjoying PA, feeling depressed) and still remain physically active.
Participants were also asked questions involving knowledge typical of physiological responses to vigorous and moderate intensity physical activities. Correct responses to these items were, “your heart beats much faster than usual and you cannot say more than a few words before stopping for a breath,” and “your heart beats somewhat faster than usual and you can talk while doing the activity,” respectively. Knowledge of the 2018 PA guidelines was measured by the following multiple- choice items: (1) “What duration of moderately intense PA is recommended?” Correct answer: 150 min per week. (2) “How many days of muscle-strengthening activities are needed per week to gain strength?” Correct answer: a minimum of two. (3) In addition, a review of our original survey revealed that we had failed to include a question regarding the recommended minutes of VPA. The following item was a part of the Qualtrics on-line survey, “What duration of vigorous PA is needed to produce health benefits?” Correct answer: 75 min per week.
Frequencies and distributions were calculated for all variables. Binary, univariate logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and binary, multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (AOR) for exposure to the MYW campaign or MYW logo and PA behaviors, intention, and knowledge. Cross-tabulations were used to conduct Pearson chi square analyses to assess relationships between exposure to the MYW campaign and PA knowledge and behaviors. One-tailed, independent t-tests were used to determine if exposure to the MYW campaign or if having seen the MYW logo were associated with confidence in overcoming barriers to PA. If data for a dependent variable were missing, then those participants were omitted from the data analysis for that particular variable, but were retained for other analyses. This causes some analyses to use slightly different sample sizes. In all cases, alpha was set at 0.05 to determine statistical significance. SPSS version 28.0 was used for all analyses .