Online Program

Does faith help you sustain your health? Synergy Between Faith, Health and Healthcare Explored

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Dede Teteh, MPH, CHES, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Rueben Warren, DDS, MPH, DrPH, MDiv, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL

Sandy Maclin Jr., MDiv, DMin, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Ernest Alema-Mensah, MDiv, MS, DMin, PhD, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine & Clinical Research Center, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

Background: The 1985 “Secretary’s Task Force Report on Black and Minority Health” introduced the term “excess deaths”- the number of preventable age/sex specific death rates in the Black population compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts. In 1985, excess deaths for Blacks were estimated to be 60,000 and in 2005 rose to 83,000. There is continual need for evidence based research focused on eliminating excess deaths and other preventable morbidities and mortalities to improve the nation's health.  

Purpose: To explore the synergy between faith, health, and healthcare among a select group of Black Christian congregants.

Methodology: This study methodology was a secondary analysis of a primary data set of 2,911 Black Christian congregants. The data were collected between 2005-2010, using an 81-question survey instrument. Analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics.  To determine relationship between variables, SAS was used. Two qualitative responses were quantified using NVivo9 for meaning of faith and religion.

Results:Qualitative response categories included: faith meaning-six and religion meaning-four. Results indicated significant statistical differences between Black males and females’ health perceptions and healthcare experiences. There were no significant statistical differences between Black males and females meanings of faith and selected healthcare experiences. Significant statistical differences were found between Black females meanings of faith and testing for HIV/AIDS. Ninety-sevent percent of participants felt faith helped them sustain their health.

Discussion: Faith is an important aspect of this population's culture. Further research is warranted to better understand how faith can be used to assist in health promotion interventions of Black people.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of faith in black culture Explain how faith can be used to improve health and healthcare experiences of black people

Keyword(s): Faith Community, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a member of the Institute for Faith-Health Leadership at the Interdenominational Theological Center and a public health practitioner, I am well versed in the contents of this abstract. This project’s defense completion culminated my master of public health degree at Morehouse School of Medicine. Seven abstracts and presentations have been completed with my designation as first author.
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.