The Living Well by Faith Health and wellness program for African Americans: an exemplar of community-based participatory research
Woods, G.; Levinson, A.H.; Jones, G.; Kennedy, R.L.; Johnson, L.C.; Tran, Z.Vu.; Gonzalez, T.; Marcus, A.C.
Ethnicity and Disease 23(2): 223-229
ISSN/ISBN: 1049-510X PMID: 23530305 Accession: 056196749
Using community-based participatory research (CBPR) as a guiding framework, a faith-based diet, nutrition and physical activity intervention for African Americans was implemented and evaluated as a small-scale randomized trial. Five churches were recruited (intervention=3, control=2), resulting in an enrolled sample of 106 adults (intervention=74, control=32). The control group received a minimal intervention consisting of one educational workshop. The Living Well By Faith intervention group received a more intensive 8-week program. Classes were held twice a week and included educational workshops and exercise sessions. Both interventions were delivered at participating churches. Assessments for program evaluation occurred at baseline and 2-month follow-up. These included weight, blood pressure, percent body fat, and physical fitness using the step test. The sample was predominantly African American, female and well educated. At baseline, no significant differences between intervention and control groups were found for any of the primary endpoints. At 2-months follow up, the intervention group, compared to the control group, showed significant decreases in weight (P<.02), BMI (P<.05), and % body fat (P<.03), with a significant increase in physical fitness (P<.02). Systolic blood pressure also showed group differences in the predicted direction (P=.10). This study provides an exemplar of CBPR. The results obtained are sufficiently promising to support more research involving similar interventions of longer duration and with longer-term follow-up for evaluation.