Creating African-American Wellness Through Exercise

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) logo

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)






Behavioral: AAHC Exercise Program Support Group

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The purpose of this study is to pilot-test a culturally-tailored, community-based educational program for African-Americans, focusing on how to use exercise and other self-management strategies to reduce depressive symptoms and improve health. This study will explore what type of additional support would encourage depressed African-Americans to exercise regularly. The investigators hypothesize that participants will report greater frequency of exercise and lower depression scores at the end of the program than they did at baseline. However, this study is not adequately powered to test this hypothesis - the main goal is to assess feasibility, acceptability and satisfaction of the pilot intervention.

Full description

Several studies have documented the effectiveness of exercise as a treatment for depression. However, these studies have used supervised exercise in medical school or university environments and have included mostly middle-class White populations. Little is known regarding how to translate these findings to real world settings or to minority populations. Exercise may be a particularly beneficial option for African-Americans suffering from depression. African-Americans face significant disparities in depression care. At least a part of these disparities are due to lack of trust in the healthcare system and negative attitudes toward antidepressants. Our goal is to pilot-test a culturally-tailored, community-based exercise support program for depressed African-Americans. We will recruit participants who screened positive for moderate depressive symptoms when they enrolled in the African-American Health Coalition's Free Exercise Card Program, but who are exercising less than 3 times per week. They will participate in a 6-week educational self-care group focusing on how to use exercise and other self-help tools to reduce depressive symptoms. Participants will be encouraged to create action plans regarding exercise and other healthy lifestyle changes. Groups will also provide culturally-tailored information about depression therapies, such as antidepressants and psychotherapy, and discuss strategies for obtaining quality health care.


22 patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • 18 years of age
  • African-American or of African-American descent
  • Currently participating in the African-American Health Coalition Free Exercise-Card Program
  • Experiencing moderate depressive symptoms, as indicated by a score of 10-20 on the Depression Scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9.
  • Exercising less than three times per week (for a minimum of 30 minutes per session) over the past month

Exclusion criteria

  • Actively suicidal
  • If a health care provider, AAHC staff member, or an investigator feel that participation in the program may endanger the participant's health or safety.
  • Known mental or cognitive impairments
  • Known condition that precludes their ability to feasibly participate in a support group session.

Trial design

Primary purpose

Health Services Research



Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

22 participants in 1 patient group

AAHC Excercise Program Support Group
Experimental group
Participants taking part in the AAHC Exercise Program Support Group (the intervention).
Behavioral: AAHC Exercise Program Support Group

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from

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