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The Impact of a Faith Community-Based Health Promotion Program; Exploring Physical and Psychosocial Changes: 981May 30 4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

White, James A.1; Terbizan, Donna J. FACSM2

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2008 - Volume 40 - Issue 5 - p S107
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000321916.01164.4a
F-49 Free Communication/Slide - Interventions and Promotion of Physical Activity: May 30, 2008 3:15 PM - 5:00 PM ROOM: 104

1Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN. 2North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.


(No relationships reported)

Health promotion programming initiatives need to take into account the diverse cultural and socio-economic differences of various populations. Research investigating the influence of an individual's involvement in a faith community-based health promotion programming (that includes exercise) is limited.

PURPOSE: The purpose this study was to determine if involvement in a faith community-based health promotion program (FCBHPP) positively impacts participants' physical and psychosocial well-being.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study explored psychosocial and physical fitness differences of study participants. This research examined exercise self-efficacy (ESE), depression (DEP) levels, and social support for exercise (SSE) as well as demographic characteristics, physical health characteristics, and functional fitness levels of middle-aged and older adults. This research explored an on-going (2000-2006) non-denominational FCBHPP that was implemented in the upper Midwest. One hundred six adults (mean age = 68.3) from 11 faith communities that offered FCBHPP programs chose to participate in this study. This study also included seventy-two adults (mean age = 68.7) faith community members (NP) from the same 11 FC who had chosen not to participate in the FCBHPP. Analysis of variance was used to determine difference and Tukey's Honest Significance Difference tests were used for post hoc multiple comparisons.

RESULTS: NP had lower levels (p=.0001) of ESE when compared to both of the FCBHPP participant groups who had been in the program for more than 3 years. FCBHPP participants who had been in program for 5-6 years reported significantly (p=.007) more SSE from friends when compared to participants who had been in the program for 0.1-2.9 years and NP. FCBHPP participants who had been involved for 5-6 years had decreased levels of DEP when compared (p=.047) to participants who had been in the program less than 2.9 years and NP. FCBHPP participants that had been in the FCBHPP for more than 5 years had significantly more lower body strength, (p=.026), dynamic balance (p=.013), flexibility (p=.008) than NP.

CONCLUSION: Through continued involvement in the health promotion program participants demonstrated improved physical and psychosocial health.

Supported in part by a grant by MeritCare Health System, Fargo, ND

©2008The American College of Sports Medicine