Online Program

African Americans & Stress: A review of effective stress reduction interventions for African Americans living with a chronic disease

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Corliss Allen, MPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
This systematic review identifies lifestyle-management programs with stress reduction components targeting African Americans living with chronic disease(s), to assess their effectiveness in comparison with programs without stress components.

methods: Randomized controlled trials comparing stress reduction components with minimal exposure, involving African Americans adults living with chronic disease, were included in this study.  To assess the effects of stress reduction techniques on clinical outcomes and healthy behaviors, behavioral, biological and cognitive outcomes were used.

results: This review included 13 studies described in 15 papers. Both the intervention and control groups were generally satisfied with the program and adherent to the program requirements. Participants exposed to the intervention, not only had better behavior and biological outcomes, but they were able to sustain such progress over longer periods of time. While this did not significantly impact cognitive outcomes, this may emphasize the capability of stress reduction interventions to have a longer effect on people living with chronic disease as opposed to those interventions without the stress components.  Studies that used general stress reduction components had similar outcomes between both the intervention and control groups. However, those studies that identified a specific stress reduction technique (e.g. Transcendental Meditation Program™, mindfulness, sound meditation) had an increased amount of significance in their results.

conclusion: The inclusion of stress reduction techniques offers significant potential for lifestyle-management programs targeting African Americans living with a chronic disease. Further research in stress reduction is needed to confirm these findings among this population, who are impacted the most by chronic diseases.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe effective stress reduction techniques that improves clinical and behavioral outcomes among African Americans living with or at high risk for a chronic disease.

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Management and Care, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student that have received a multitude of experience, education and training in chronic disease management among minorities in the US. Among my academic interests has been the relationship between chronic stress and chronic diseases among African Americans.
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.