Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 398–410 | Cite as

The Results of the “Positive Action for Today’s Health” (PATH) Trial for Increasing Walking and Physical Activity in Underserved African-American Communities

  • Dawn K. Wilson
  • M. Lee Van Horn
  • E. Rebekah Siceloff
  • Kassandra A. Alia
  • Sara M. St. George
  • Hannah G. Lawman
  • Nevelyn N. Trumpeter
  • Sandra M. Coulon
  • Sarah F. Griffin
  • Abraham Wandersman
  • Brent Egan
  • Natalie Colabianchi
  • Melinda Forthofer
  • Barney Gadson
Original Article



The “Positive Action for Today’s Health” (PATH) trial tested an environmental intervention to increase walking in underserved communities.


Three matched communities were randomized to a police-patrolled walking plus social marketing, a police-patrolled walking-only, or a no-walking intervention. The 24-month intervention addressed safety and access for physical activity (PA) and utilized social marketing to enhance environmental supports for PA. African-Americans (N = 434; 62 % females; aged 51 ± 16 years) provided accelerometry and psychosocial measures at baseline and 12, 18, and 24 months. Walking attendance and trail use were obtained over 24 months.


There were no significant differences across communities over 24 months for moderate-to-vigorous PA. Walking attendance in the social marketing community showed an increase from 40 to 400 walkers per month at 9 months and sustained ~200 walkers per month through 24 months. No change in attendance was observed in the walking-only community.


Findings support integrating social marketing strategies to increase walking in underserved African-Americans ( #NCT01025726).


Physical activity Walking interventions African-Americans Perceptions of safety and access 

Supplementary material

12160_2014_9664_MOESM1_ESM.docx (61 kb)
ESM (DOCX 60.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn K. Wilson
    • 1
  • M. Lee Van Horn
    • 1
  • E. Rebekah Siceloff
    • 1
  • Kassandra A. Alia
    • 1
  • Sara M. St. George
    • 1
  • Hannah G. Lawman
    • 1
  • Nevelyn N. Trumpeter
    • 1
  • Sandra M. Coulon
    • 1
  • Sarah F. Griffin
    • 2
  • Abraham Wandersman
    • 1
  • Brent Egan
    • 3
  • Natalie Colabianchi
    • 4
  • Melinda Forthofer
    • 5
  • Barney Gadson
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Heath, Education, and Human DevelopmentClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville, Care Coordination InstituteGreenvilleUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Social Research, School of Public Health (Epidemiology)University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public HealthUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  6. 6.Newton Family Life CenterSumterUSA

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