The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4115.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 12:30 PM

Abstract #55048

Black Seventh-day Adventist Exploratory Health Study: A Research and Faith Community Partnership

Cheryl E. Easley, PhD, RN1, Carol Easley Allen, PhD, RN2, David L. Nyenhuis, PhD3, Yenenesh Andrews, MPH4, David C. Garron, PhD3, Ephraim T. Gwebu5, Yvonne Harris, MPA3, DeJuran Richardson, PhD3, Paul Levy, ScD3, and Phillip B. Gorelick, MD3. (1) Crystal M. Lange College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710, 989-964-4145,, (2) Dept. of Nursing, Oakwood College, 7000 Adventist Blvd., Huntsville, AL 35896, (3) Center for Stroke Research, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, 1645 W. Jackson, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60612, (4) Department of Research, Oakwood College, 7000 Adventist Blvd., Huntsville, AL 35896, (5) Department of Research, Oakwood College, 7000 Adventist Blvd., Huntsville, AL 35896

This paper describes a relationship between Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Center for Stroke Research, Oakwood College, and black Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) churches in Chicago, Illinois, and Huntsville, Alabama, to explore the lifestyle of church members as it affects risk for stroke and dementia. African Americans are at high risk for both these conditions. Healthy lifestyle has been associated with longevity and other positive health outcomes in a number of studies. The SDA church encourages its members to engage in spiritual activities and to eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables, while discouraging smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages,and eating meat. The paucity of information about black SDAs and the potentially preventive implications of their lifestyle gave impetus to this exploratory study. Two congregations in the Chicago area and one congregation in Huntsville were surveyed. The results of the study have important implications for the prevention of stroke and dementia among African Americans. In addition to the findings related to healthy lifestyle and positive health outcomes, the methods of the study provide a model of effective techniques for cooperative networking between a research center and a faith community to pursue the mutual goal of eliminating disparities in health outcomes among ethnic minorities. Trust was developed through multiple steps that included gaining consent of church administrators, meetings with church pastors, establishing community advisory boards, visits and presentations to each congregation, and feedback to everyone involved on the progress of the study.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Faith Community, Strokes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Improving community health through faith and health partnerships

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA