Linking patients with community resources: use of a free YMCA membership among low-income black women
Date of Original Version
Given the increasing interest in expanding obesity prevention efforts to cover community-based programs, we examined whether individuals would access a YMCA for physical activity promotion. We provided a no-cost 12-month YMCA membership to socioeconomically disadvantaged black women who were randomized to the intervention arm of a weight gain prevention trial (n = 91). Analyses examined associations of membership activation and use with baseline psychosocial, contextual, health-related, and sociodemographic factors. Many participants (70.3 %) activated their memberships; however, use was low (42.2 % had no subsequent visits, 46.9 % had one to ten visits). There were no predictors of membership activation, but individuals living below/borderline the federal poverty line were more likely to use the center (1+ visits), as were those who met physical activity guidelines at baseline. More comprehensive and intensive interventions may be necessary to promote use of community resources—even when provided free—among high-risk populations of women with obesity that live in rural areas of the USA.
Translational Behavioral Medicine
Greaney, Mary L., Sandy Askew, Perry Foley, Sherrie F. Wallington, and Gary G. Bennett. "Linking patients with community resources: use of a free YMCA membership among low-income black women." Translational Behavioral Medicine 7, 2 (2017): 341-348. doi:10.1007/s13142-016-0431-7.