The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of a multimodal intervention (Women's Wellness Program) to improve women's cardiovascular risk factors. This 12-week randomized experiment with a control group targeted women 50-65 years living in the general population. Women in the intervention group were provided with a consultation with a registered nurse at which time biophysical cardiovascular risk measures were taken and health education was provided in both verbal and written form. Women were encouraged to review their smoking, nutrition, and water intakes and to commence an exercise program that included aerobic fitness exercises. Women in the control group continued their normal activities. The sample consisted of 90 women aged 50-65 years. Pre- and post-intervention assessment utilized seven measures of cardiovascular risk factors: waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, heart rate, weight, exercise levels, and smoking. Analysis of covariance indicated that the intervention was effective in improving women's aerobic exercise activity and decreasing smoking. The data from all five biophysical outcome measures supported the efficacy of the intervention, with significant decreases seen in the women's WHR, BMI, blood pressure, and measured weight. Study implications suggest that this type of intervention may provide an effective, clinically manageable therapy for women who prefer a self-directed approach to preventing and decreasing cardiovascular risk factors.
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