Creating a community-physical therapy partnership to increase physical activity in urban African-American adults

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8 Scopus citations


Background: Racial disparities in health across the United States remain, and in some cities have worsened despite increased focus at federal and local levels. One approach to addressing health inequity is community-based participatory research (CBPR). Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of an ongoing community-physical therapy partnership focused on physical activity (PA), which aims to improve the health of African-American community members and engage physical therapist (PT) students in CBPR. Methods: Three main research projects that resulted from an initial partnership-building seed grant include (1) community focus groups, (2) training of community PA promoters, and (3) pilot investigation of PA promoter effectiveness. Lessons Learned: Results from each project informed the next. Focus groups findings led to development of a PA promoter training curriculum. PA promoters were accepted by the community, with potential to increase PA. Focus on the community issue of PA fostered and sustained the partnership. Conclusions: Community and academic partners benefitted from funding, structure, and time to create meaningful, trusting, and sustainable relationships committed to improving health. Engaging PT students with community residents provided learning opportunities that promote respect and appreciation of the social, economic, and environmental context of future patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Community health partnerships
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Health disparities
  • Physical activity
  • Physical therapy
  • Process issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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