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Am J Public Health. 2004 Jun;94(6):1030-6.

Health programs in faith-based organizations: are they effective?

Author information

  • 1Division of Community Medicine, Department of Family Practice and Community Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 6263 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9067, USA. mark.dehaven@utsouthwestern.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We examined the published literature on health programs in faith-based organizations to determine the effectiveness of these programs.

METHODS:

We conducted a systematic literature review of articles describing faith-based health activities. Articles (n = 386) were screened for eligibility (n = 105), whether a faith-based health program was described (n = 53), and whether program effects were reported (28).

RESULTS:

Most programs focused on primary prevention (50.9%), general health maintenance (25.5%), cardiovascular health (20.7%), or cancer (18.9%). Significant effects reported included reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure levels, weight, and disease symptoms and increases in the use of mammography and breast self-examination.

CONCLUSIONS:

Faith-based programs can improve health outcomes. Means are needed for increasing the frequency with which such programs are evaluated and the results of these evaluations are disseminated.

PMID:
15249311
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1448385
Free PMC Article
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