Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-randomised controlled trials and uncontrolled trials that evaluated interventions through lifestyle changes, formal exercise or training programmes in order to increase physical activity and physical fitness in men, women, children or communities identified as African-American were eligible for inclusion. Eligible studies had to report outcome data on assessment of physical activity and physical fitness. Studies where participants were not predominantly (≥85%) African-American were included if outcomes were specified separately for African-Americans. Outcomes reported in the review were changes in physical activity and physical fitness.
Studies evaluated various interventions that included individualised counselling, unstructured and structured exercise programmes and educational classes. All included studies involved healthy participants except for one study in stroke survivors. Included studies were conducted in a variety of community and healthcare settings. Most studies focused on adults. Ages of adult participants ranged from 18 to 91 years; ages of included children and youths ranged from seven to 17 years. Most included studies were RCTs. Durations of short-term interventions ranged from two weeks to eight months; durations of long-term interventions lasted one year or longer. Included studies used accelerometer, pedometer, fitness tests or questionnaires to measure physical activity. Most included studies attempted to adapt interventions to fit African-American culture. The included studies were published between 1985 and 2006.
Two reviewers screened abstracts or full articles for inclusion.