Sistas inspiring sistas through activity and support (SISTAS): Study design and demographics of participants

Malcolm Bevel, Oluwole A. Babatunde, Sue P. Heiney, Heather M. Brandt, Michael D. Wirth, Thomas G. Hurley, Samira Khan, Hiluv Johnson, Cassandra M. Wineglass, Tatiana Y. Warren, E. Angela Murphy, Erica Sercy, Amanda S. Thomas, James R. Hébert, Swann Arp Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Recruiting racial, ethnic, and other underserved minorities into conventional clinic-based and other trials is known to be challenging. The Sistas Inspiring Sistas Through Activity and Support (SISTAS) Program was a one-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) to promote physical activity and healthy eating among AA women in SC to reduce inflammatory biomarkers, which are linked to increased breast cancer (BrCa) risk and mortality. This study describes the development, recruitment, and implementation of the SISTAS clinical trial and provides baseline characteristics of the study participants. Methods: SISTAS was developed using community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches. At baseline, study participants completed assessments and underwent clinical measurements and blood draws to measure C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Participants randomized to the intervention received 12 weekly classes followed by nine monthly booster sessions. Post-intervention measurements were assessed at 12-week and 12-month follow-ups. Results: We recruited a total of 337 women who tended to: be middle-aged (mean age 48.2 years); have some college education; be employed full-time; have Medicare as their primary insurance; be non-smokers; and perceive their personal health as good. On average, the women were pre-hypertensive at baseline (mean systolic blood pressure = 133.9 mm Hg; mean diastolic blood pressure = 84.0 mm Hg) and morbidly obese (mean BMI >40.0 kg/m2); the mean fat mass and fat-free mass among participants were 106.4 lb and 121.0 lb, respectively. Conclusion: The SISTAS RCT addresses some of the gaps in the literature with respect to CBPR interventions targeting AA women, such as implementing diet and physical activity in CBPR-based studies to decrease BrCa risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Breast cancer
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Diet
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sistas inspiring sistas through activity and support (SISTAS): Study design and demographics of participants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this