Pastoral perceptions of the learning and developing individual exercise skills (L.A.D.I.E.S.) intervention: a qualitative study.
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African-American women experience higher rates of obesity compared to other racial/ethnic groups. High levels of reported church attendance among African-Americans have led to the proliferation of faith-based health programs. Pastors can influence success for faith-based programs. The purpose of this study was to assess pastors' perceptions of the L.A.D.I.E.S. intervention, designed to increase physical activity levels in sedentary African-American women. For the L.A.D.I.E.S. intervention, 31 churches (n = 418 women) were randomized at the church level to a faith-based, non-faith-based or self-guided program. All 31 pastors were invited by telephone to participate in the current study. Using a qualitative design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 pastors from participating churches. Thematic analysis and the ecological model were used to examine the findings. According to the pastors, women showed heightened awareness of the importance of health and physical activity, and increased levels of fellowship. L.A.D.I.E.S. also encouraged healthy church climates and new health ministries. Lessons learned included the need for an expanded participant base and curriculum. Pastors expressed appreciation for the culturally fitting approach of L.A.D.I.E.S. Findings have implications for faith-based and public agency partnerships.
author list (cited authors)
Story, C. R., Gross, T. T., Harvey, I. S., & Whitt-Glover, M. C.