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Health Educ Res. 2009 Oct;24(5):760-71. doi: 10.1093/her/cyp010. Epub 2009 Mar 23.

A qualitative exploration of the community partner experience in a faith-based breast cancer educational intervention.

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  • 1Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, The State University of New York at Buffalo, 3435 Main Street, 321 Kimball Tower, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.


Although community partner engagement is a key component in faith-based health promotion/disease prevention intervention research, the perspective of community partners on their experiences in the intervention process has been infrequently investigated. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 12 African-American community partners [i.e. four pastors and eight lay health co-ordinators (LHCs)] from eight churches in greater Baltimore, MD, USA, that engaged in a breast cancer educational intervention that followed a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed, coded and content analysis was used to identify themes across the codes. Findings show that pastors support a holistic approach to health and that LHCs act as a link between the pastors, participants and academic researchers. In addition, pastors and LHCs emphasized that the religious and/or spiritual program elements should not overpower the importance of reaching participants with critical health information regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs. Study findings suggest that faith-based educational intervention efforts that follow a CBPR approach are important in promoting cancer awareness in the African-American community. Including community partner assessment can further elucidate critical intervention impacts and helps to address health disparities in underserved communities.

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