Factors Facilitating Academic–Community Research Partnerships With African American Churches: Recruitment Process for a Community-Based, Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kristene Tadese, Sarah Jenkins, Dawn Aycock, Clarence Jones, Sharonne Hayes, Lora E. Burke, Lisa A. Cooper, Christi A. Patten, La Princess C. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

African American (AA) churches are valuable partners in implementing health promotion programming (HPP) to combat health disparities. The study purpose was to evaluate AA church characteristics associated with enrollment into the FAITH! (Fostering African American Improvement in Total Health) Trial, a community-based, cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a mobile health intervention for cardiovascular health promotion among AA churches. Churches located in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Rochester, Minnesota were invited to complete an electronic screening survey and follow-up telephone interview including the PREACH (Predicting Readiness to Engage African American Churches in Health) tool to assess church characteristics and infrastructure for HPP. The primary outcome was church enrollment in the FAITH! Trial. Key predictors included overall PREACH scores and its subscales (Personnel, Physical Structure, Faith-based Approach, Funding), congregation size, and mean congregation member age. Of the 26 churches screened, 16 (61.5%) enrolled in the trial. The enrolled churches had higher overall mean PREACH scores (36.1 vs. 30.2) and subscales for Personnel (8.8 vs. 5.6), Faith-based Approach (11.0 vs. 9.6), and Funding (7.3 vs. 4.8) compared with non-enrolled churches; all differences were not statistically significant due to small sample size. Twelve (75.0%) of the enrolled churches had >75 members versus six (60.0%) of the non-enrolled churches. Twelve (80.0%) of the enrolled churches had an average congregation member age ≤54 years versus six (67.0%) of the non-enrolled churches. AA churches enrolling into a community-based RCT reported greater infrastructure for HPP, larger congregations, and members of younger age. These characteristics may be helpful to consider among researchers partnering with AA churches for HPP studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth promotion practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • African American
  • church
  • health disparities
  • health promotion
  • organizational capacity
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)

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