HEALS: A Faith-Based Hypertension Control and Prevention Program for African American Churches: Training of Church Leaders as Program Interventionists

Center for Post Polio Rehabilitation (A Nonprofit Organization), 2308 W, 127 Street, Leawood, KS 66209, USA.
International journal of hypertension 05/2011; 2011:820101. DOI: 10.4061/2011/820101
Source: PubMed


Background. A 12-session church-based HEALS program (healthy eating and living spiritually) was developed for hypertension control and prevention program in African Americans (AAs). This study presents specifics of training lay health educators to effectively deliver HEALS to high-risk AAs. Methods. A one-day workshop was conducted by the research experts in an AA church. Five church members were recruited to be program interventionists called church health counselors (CHCs). Results. Using principles of adult education, a training protocol was developed with the intention of recognizing and supporting CHCs skills. CHCs received training on delivering HEALS program. The process of training emphasized action methods including role playing and hands-on experience with diet portion measurements. Conclusion. With adequate training, the community lay health educator can be an essential partner in a community-based hypertension control programs. This may motivate program participants more and encourages the individual to make the behavior modifications on a permanent basis.

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    • "While several of these interventions have proven effective in the short-term, maintenance of the healthy behaviours remains a challenge. Interventions training church members to deliver health-counselling interventions to their congregations have proven efficacious (Resnicow et al. 2004, Bopp et al. 2009, in press a, Dodani et al. 2011). One example is the Health-e-AME (Wilcox et al. 2006, 2007) 8-steps to fitness programme, which was an 8-week theory-based behaviour change intervention targeting physical activity and diet. "
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    ABSTRACT: Health counselling is an evidence-based behavioural medicine approach and the most commonly reported form of faith-based health interventions. Yet, no research has explored the factors influencing the implementation of faith-based health counselling. Therefore, this study examined individual, organisational and environmental factors associated with offering/not offering faith-based health counselling programmes within faith-based organisations. A national, internet-based, opt-in, cross-sectional survey of faith leaders (N = 676) was conducted (March-December 2009) to assess faith leaders' demographic information, health status, fatalism, health-related attitudes and normative beliefs, attitudes towards health counselling, institutional and occupational information, and perceptions of parent organisation support for health and wellness interventions. Most faith leaders reported offering some type of health counselling in the past year [n = 424, 62.7%, 95% CI (59.0, 66.3)]. Results of a multivariate logistic regression showed that faith leaders reporting greater proxy efficacy (OR = 1.40, P = 0.002), greater comfort in speaking with church members about health (OR = 1.25, P = 0.005), greater perceived health (OR = 1.27, P = 0.034), and who worked at larger churches (OR ≥ 3.2, P ≤ 0.001) with greater parent organisation support (OR = 1.33, P = 0.002) had significantly higher odds of offering faith-based health counselling. Church size and parent organisation support for faith-based health interventions appear to be important factors in the presence of faith leader health counselling. The content of faith leader health counselling training should aim to increase faith leaders' confidence that church members will successfully change their health behaviours as a result of the health counselling and increase faith leaders' comfort in speaking with church members about health. Future research is needed to examine efficacious and effective dissemination methods such as the use of internet trainings, CD ROM materials and incorporating health counselling into seminary school.
    Health & Social Care in the Community 10/2012; 21(2). DOI:10.1111/hsc.12001 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    • "Such programs can (a) foster dialogue and partnership to improve community health and (b) integrate the strengths and insights of all partners to address health disparities in a powerful way [48]. Fit body and Soul diabetes prevention program and HEALS (Healthy Eating and Living Spiritually) hypertension control program are some examples of strong community partnership and successful CBHP programs [59–61]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hypertension (HTN) is a highly prevalent risk factor for cardiovascular (CV), cerebrovascular, and renal diseases and disproportionately affects African Americans (AAs). It has been shown that promoting the adoption of healthy lifestyles, ones that involve best practices of diet and exercise and abundant expert support, can, in a healthcare setting, reduce the incidence of hypertension in those who are at high risk. In this paper, we will examine whether similar programs are effective in the AA church-community-based participatory research settings, outside of the healthcare arena. If successful, these church-based approaches may be applied successfully to reduce the incidence and consequences of hypertension in large communities with potentially huge impact on public health.
    06/2011; 2011:273120. DOI:10.4061/2011/273120
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    ABSTRACT: Data from different national and regional surveys show that hypertension is common in developing countries, particularly in urban areas, and that rates of awareness, treatment, and control are low. Several hypertension risk factors seem to be more common in developing countries than in developed regions. Findings from serial surveys show an increasing prevalence of hypertension in developing countries, possibly caused by urbanisation, ageing of population, changes to dietary habits, and social stress. High illiteracy rates, poor access to health facilities, bad dietary habits, poverty, and high costs of drugs contribute to poor blood pressure control. The health system in many developing countries is inadequate because of low funds, poor infrastructure, and inexperience. Priority is given to acute disorders, child and maternal health care, and control of communicable diseases. Governments, together with medical societies and non-governmental organisations, should support and promote preventive programmes aiming to increase public awareness, educate physicians, and reduce salt intake. Regulations for the food industry and the production and availability of generic drugs should be reinforced.
    The Lancet 08/2012; 380(9841):611-9. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60861-7 · 45.22 Impact Factor
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