157906 Project GoodNEWS (Genes, Nutrition, Exercise, Wellness and Spiritual Growth): Combining Faith and Science, Improving Life, and Overcoming Health Disparties

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 3:15 PM

Mark J. DeHaven, Ph D , Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Jenny J. Lee, MPH, PhD , College of Education, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Johnrice Newton, RN , Division of Community Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) play at least two major roles improving health outcomes in at-risk communities; they provide program-based approaches for preventing and managing chronic disease and they play a leadership role in collaborating with others to identify and resolve community problems contributing to undesirable health outcomes. Research conducted by the authors testing the effects of their collaborative faith-health program GoodNEWS, demonstrates significant benefits for participating individuals. Beginning in 2002, with a three year study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in twelve inner-city congregations among individuals with family histories of hypertension (68%), diabetes (50%), heart disease (41%), and high cholesterol (27%), the program contributed to increasing exercise three times a week (p=.02), consuming fruit and vegetables three or more times a day (p=.01), avoiding fried foods (p=.03), and improving adequate and satisfying sleep (p=.01). The investigators have now replicated their findings in collaborative studies funded through the 325 member Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church of Texas, and have also demonstrated significant improvement (p=.01) in participants' Spirituality Index of Well-Being (SIWB). The authors will present an overview of their findings from the past five years, the role of faith in health, and explain how chronic disease prevalence is significantly affected by the interaction among underlying social problems, genetics, and inadequate access to medical care. They will also present the overall rationale for and components of their faith-health model, and the approach of their five-year NIH study to reduce health disparities through faith-health partnerships.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the health needs and major health disparities of those residing in low-income inner-city neighborhoods. 2. Understand the components of a wholistic wellness and lifestyle enhancement program, for improving individual lives and community health outcomes. 3. Recognize the essential features of successful and effective partnerships, between faith and health organizations for reducing health disparities.

Keywords: Community Research, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.