Online Program

Heals: A faith-based hypertension control and prevention program for African American churches

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sunita Dodani, M.B.B.S (MD), FCPS, MSc, Ph.D., Cardiology Divison, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida., University of Florida, Jacskonville, FL
Ryan Butterfield, MPH, DrPH(c), Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Center for Biostatistics, Georgia Southern University and University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL
Collisa Mahin, MPH, CHES, Employee Wellness, UF Health Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL
Hypertension (HTN), also called high blood pressure (BP) disproportionately affects African Americans (AAs). Lifestyle programs like Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) diet has been shown to lower systolic BP by 6-14 mmHg, however DASH effectiveness is yet to be determined. In addition in the PREMIER trial, DASH was less effective in AAs in in lowering BP in AAs significantly. Here we present the results of a faith–based socio-culturally tailored, multi-level, HTN control intervention- Healthy Eating And Living Spiritually (HEALS) conducted at a AA church. The objective of HEALS is to promote BP control by healthy lifestyle measures. After completing several HEALS program activities (development of 9- month HEALS program from DASH and PREMIER programs modification) four church members from the Central Metropolitan CME Church received 10-hr training as program leaders. Study church participants were 25- 75 years, self-described AA with either newly diagnosed HTN (by JNC VII criteria) or known hypertensive. 37 participants were enrolled with mean age of 54 yrs ± 13.7. The mean baseline systolic BP is 137.22 ± 13.763 with a mean diastolic BP of 83.88 ± 9.006. At the end of five sessions of HEALS, a significant reduction was seen in both systolic (123.59 ± 11.353-p < 0.001) and diastolic BP (76.76 ± 6.760-p=0.006) from the baseline. The study is still ongoing. HEALS faith-based approach may be applied successfully to reduce the incidence and complications of HTN in large communities which represents a potentially major impact on public health.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe an approach for integrating healthy eating habits and physical activity into a faith-based organization by modifying an evidence-based intervention. Identify 4 major components of the HEALS study geared toward AA churches.

Keyword(s): African American, Hypertension

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be a presenter on the content I am responsible for because I am a Research Coordinator for the HEALS project at the University of Florida. I possess a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion. I have a strong background in chronic disease prevention and management in the African American community.
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.