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Am J Prev Med. 1987 Jan-Feb;3(1):51-7.

Training volunteers to conduct heart health programs in churches.

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Division of Health Education, Memorial Hospital, Pawtucket, RI 02860.


With cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, economically feasible and effective methods of prevention are needed. The Health and Religion Project (HARP) uses volunteers to provide cardiovascular risk-factor change programs to individuals in their church communities. The rationale for the use of volunteers in this setting is described, along with the design and initial response to the HARP volunteer training program. Two hundred twenty-two volunteers were certified across 16 study churches to conduct risk-factor change programs. Their certification exam performance demonstrated that they had mastered the knowledge and skills deemed necessary for their jobs. Overall, the trainees were very enthusiastic about their new roles. Based on this initial response, our partnership with churches for health promotion is worthy of further development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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