Online Program

African American Pastor perspectives on the LADIES project: : A Qualitative Study

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Chandra Story, PhD, MCHES, School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Tyra Gross, PhD, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Women's Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Idethia Harvey, DrPH, Department of Health and Kinesiology; Transdisciplinary Center for Health Equity Research, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Melicia Whitt-Glover, PhD, FACSM, Gramercy Research Group, Gramercy Research Group, Winston-Salem, NC
African American women experience higher rates of obesity and chronic disease states in comparison to other racial groups. Faith based programs to address these disparities have increased in recent years. African American pastors are particularly influential within the church and surrounding community. The purpose of this qualitative study was to obtain pastor perceptions of a physical activity intervention (i.e., the LADIES study) for women. Design: Thirty-one churches were randomized to faith-based, non-faith based, or self guided programs for 10 months and followed for an additional 12-months post intervention (22 months total). Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven pastors from churches that completed the 22 month study. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Thematic analyses were used to examine data. Results:  Themes associated with the intervention outcomes were: increased health consciousness, fellowship among program participants, and reinforcement of internal health ministry efforts. Themes pertaining to issues of health status in the church were: culture of risky health behaviors, need for holistic approaches to health, and leadership roles of pastors. Conclusion: Pastors are aware of health issues affecting their parishioners and are encouraging organizational policies to support a culture of health.  Although the LADIES program was a physical activity intervention, pastors spoke of multiple dimensions of health as vital to the success of health programs. Findings have implications for both church and local policy as health departments and other agencies seek to partner with faith-based organizations.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
List Health Risks in the African American Church Discuss policy implications based on Pastor perspectives of health in the African American church.

Keyword(s): African American, Faith Community

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As an assistant professor, master certified health education specialist, and ordained minister, my research focus is the topic of how health education can be used to impact health inequities. To the end, I have recently co-authored a publication on the LADIES study examining how social and religious support impacted participants in a physical activity program (the LADIES study). I have also conducted health education programs in African American faith based organizations.
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.