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J Transcult Nurs. 2008 Oct;19(4):375-83. doi: 10.1177/1043659608322502. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Church and spirituality in the lives of the African American community.

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University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


The African American church is held in the highest esteem by most African Americans. Although the influence of the African American church has been underestimated by physicians and nurses, it could be pivotal in optimizing health status among African Americans. Because of this influence, health care practitioners, including nurses, are now recognizing the important role that the African American church plays in improving the health status of individuals in the African American community. This article illuminates the health and health care concerns of the African American community by considering the traditional lack of equal access for this population and the role that the church can play in not only offering church-based health care services but also improving the health status of church congregations. Future roles of the African American church for improved health status are also suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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