DescriptionObjective: To explore the health beliefs of older African Americans in a faith based health education program.
Methods: The Health Beliefs survey combined items from Holt et al (2003) Spiritual Locus of Control and Thompson et al (2004) Group-Based Medical Mistrust. Health Beliefs surveys were completed by each participant during their first session of the 12-week Healthy Living Program (HLP), offered annually from 2016 to 2019, as part of the Genesis Health Project Network’s (GHPN) African American Dementia Caregiver Support (AADCS) program. Informed consent and data collection protocols were approved by the University Institutional Review Board.
Results: On average HLP participants were more likely to trust the healthcare system than to distrust it. They reported greater spiritual health locus of control, strongly endorsed passive spirituality statements, such as “I rely on God to keep me in good health,” and were more neutral toward the active spirituality statement, “if I stay healthy it’s because I am right with God.”
Implications: It is possible our sample was skewed toward positive health care attitudes because of their involvement in the HLP. The majority of HLP participants had attended the program for multiple years prior to AADCS. As a result of repeated exposure to messaging on self-advocacy in healthcare settings, the importance of preventive screenings, and the role of nutrition and lifestyle in preventing common chronic health conditions, they may have a more proactive relationship with their health and with their healthcare providers.
|Mar 29 2023
|OnAging 2023: Annual Meeting of the American Society on Aging, 2023
|Atlanta, United States, Georgia