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Do disadvantaged women appreciate a synergetic exercise and psycho-educative program? Rationale and process evaluation of the Exercise without Worries course

Judith van der Waerden, Maria W.J. Jansen, Cees Hoefnagels, Clemens M.H. Hosman

Abstract


Rationale, aims and objectives: Stress-related complaints and depressive symptoms are highly prevalent mental health problems among low-SES women. This paper describes the theoretical background, program content and process evaluation of the Exercise without Worries (EWW) course, a new exercise-enhanced psycho-educative intervention that targets coping  and reducing stress and depressive symptoms among disadvantaged women. This eight-week prevention course has been tailored to the specific needs of adult low-SES women. 

Methods: The process evaluation used a descriptive, observational mixed methods design. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered to determine implementation fidelity and subjective evaluations from the 135 participating women and the intervention providers.

Results: Overall attendance rates were satisfactory, but 26% of the recruited participants did not take part in the course. Implementation fidelity was sufficient, while the delivered intervention dose deviated on average for 1 out of 8 sessions from the manual. Overall, the participants reported being very satisfied with all organizational and content aspects of the intervention, with no specific preference for either exercise or psycho-education.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that a non-stigmatizing approach of exercise and psycho-education appears to fit with the preferences of low-SES women for preventive interventions. By extending the number of sessions and identifying reasons for non-participation, the program contents and execution can be improved for future adoption and implementation.


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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5750/ijpcm.v1i2.72

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