Article

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 01/2011; 2011:820101. DOI: 10.4061/2011/820101
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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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