School of Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
African American Health, African American Community-based Programs, African American Faith-based Programs, African American Health Disparities
Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
Ameduite, Leonna Sylvitrice, "Strength in Community: A Community-Based Health Program to Improve Weight Loss and Blood Pressure within an African American Faith-Based Organization" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2582.
In general, conventional health promotion strategies have not successfully mitigated health inequality and health disparities in African American communities. Health disparities among African Americans continue to persist. Obesity and hypertension are more prevalent in African Americans and are well-known precursors to chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. A wholistic solution to health disparities is complex and multifaceted. However, community-based programs such as faith-based health promotion programs can be an integral part of the solution. The purpose of this project was to provide a community faith-based weight loss program for African Americans to help guide weight loss and improve blood pressure readings. This evidenced-based practice project utilized a quasi-experimental design to educate eight African Americans using an 8-week faith-based health promotion program. The measurable outcomes for this project were weight, blood pressure, and lifestyle habits. The mean weight loss of the participants was 6.450 pounds, with a p-value of 0.001. The mean systolic blood pressure reduction was 24.0 mmHg, with a p-value of 0.026. The mean diastolic blood pressure reduction was 7.0 mmHg, with a p-value 0.125. Although lifestyle habits did not seem to change during the 8-week health promotion program, participants did report a greater perception of health after the program, and also decreased their frequency of overeating. Community faith-based programs undoubtedly have the potential to change health outcomes in African American communities; however, more studies are needed to establish an ongoing health promotion framework for this population.