Publication Date



weight management, obesity, women, community advisory board, community-based participatory research


Purpose: The primary aim of this study was to assess the perceptions of local African American women who are overweight or obese using semi-structured focus groups to identify barriers to weight management and factors that support strategy success. The secondary aim of this study was to determine recommendations for patient-centered weight management interventions established specifically for African American women in the Milwaukee-area community.

Methods: Three semi-structured focus groups to explore barriers to weight management were performed among women patients. Participants (N = 41) were recruited via email, postal mail, and phone as available from an academic medical center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Focus group discussions were transcribed verbatim, reviewed by the study team, and coded based on recurring themes within and across interviews. Responses were analyzed by frequency of occurrence using qualitative computer software.

Results: Five primary barriers to weight management were identified from focus groups: food choices, lifestyle changes, social support, locus of control, and health education. Based on participant reports, improvements to present practice and health literacy for patients may be merited. There was expressed interest by patients for being involved in future research and development of patient-centered interventions.

Conclusions: This study provides support for the use of a community-based participatory research approach in determining appropriate considerations for weight management interventions suitable for this patient population. Future research should include stakeholders not included in this study, such as community organization leaders, and primary care physicians to develop a refined intervention targeting the primary barriers to weight management.




June 6th, 2018


September 5th, 2018


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.