Partnering with African American churches to achieve better health: Lessons learned during the Black Churches United for Better Health 5 a Day Project
Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. Journal of Cancer Education
(Impact Factor: 1.23).
02/2000; 15(3):164-7. DOI: 10.1080/08858190009528686
African Americans (AAs) are at increased risk for many diseases, including cancer, but health promotion efforts often fail to reach them. Effective partnerships can be established with African American churches to deliver health-based interventions. In an NCI-funded study aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among rural AAs, investigators at three academic institutions and the North Carolina State Health Department partnered successfully with 50 churches to promote dietary change. This study adds to the increasing body of research in support of the African American church as an able partner in delivering health-based interventions. In conducting interventions and research through this channel, the health professional should gain support from regional secular associations; respect the power of the pastor; incorporate the strengths of the congregation; respect the mission of the church; establish open communication and develop trust; provide ample support and training to assure fidelity to interventions and integrity of data; and be patient and persevere.
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