Online Program

Use of faith-based health teams to prevent the complications and onset of type 2 diabetes

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lesli Johnson, LISW-S, PhD, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio University, Athens, OH
Sharon Denham, DSN, RN; Professor Emerita, School of Nursing, Ohio University, Athens, OH
In a CDC funded project, ten community health coalitions in eleven rural Appalachian counties, identified churches as an underutilized vehicle for promoting changes in diabetes education, healthy nutrition and active living. Consequently, the coalitions and project director identified, recruited and invited the churches to form health teams and send representatives to two regional trainings. During the initial year, representatives from fifty churches participated in at least one regional training, thirty churches completed the initial assessment and five churches signed covenants. Training evaluations show an increase in participants' knowledge about diabetes, the family's role in diabetes management and strategies for reducing the risk of diabetes and its complications. Baseline church health assessments reveal that a low incidence of health messages, through either sermons, bulletins or other forms of communication. While over half of the churches note that fruit is served sometimes at food-related church functions, most note that low-fat or sugar free desserts are not available. Low-fat entrees and low-sodium foods were rarely an option for over half the churches. Approximately a third of the churches offer some kind of physical activity and these offerings were typically for youth, rather than adults. At the end of the grant year, 19 of the church health teams provided information about actions they had taken. Over 40 activities were reported, including church gardens, increased exercise opportunities, walking paths and healthier food options.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the use of Faith-based Health Teams in rural areas as a strategy for diabetes prevention and education and behavioral change. Identify strategies to help Faith-based Health Teams to self-assess and strengthen their change efforts.

Keyword(s): Diabetes, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary evaluator in this five-year CDC funded initiative in rural communities in four states. Previously, I evaluated a similar effort in ten rural counties in Ohio. I have conducted numerous evaluations on a variety of community health and education projects, utilizing coalitions as the vehicles for change.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.