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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 1997 Aug;8(3):373-5; discussion 375-6.

New insights and interventions: churches uniting to reach the African American community with health information.

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Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, Nashville, TN 37208, USA.


Effective church-based community health programs must take a holistic approach when dealing with health problems among African Americans. Such an approach emphasizes the relationship between the physiological, psychological, and spiritual selves. These programs must also ensure the complete involvement of clergy and church members, who can participate in programs by providing a certain level of skill, thereby engendering a sense of partnership in the process. Also necessary is an emphasis on healthy living instead of a fear of dying. Rather than framing health issues in mortality statistics, church-based programs need to stress ways to improve the quality of life, in keeping with the messages conveyed by the church. By taking these approaches, health organizations will find a religious community more willing to accept health messages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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