Culturally Responsive Health Promotion to Address Health Disparities in African American Men: A Program Impact Evaluation

Olihe N. Okoro, Chantele S. Nelson, Stephan P. Witherspoon, Salaam F. Witherspoon, Glenn E. Simmons

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5 Scopus citations


African American (AA) men continue to experience worse health outcomes compared to men of other races/ethnicities. Community-based interventions are known to be effective in health promotion and disease prevention. The program objectives were to (a) increase knowledge and risk awareness of targeted conditions, (b) change health-care-seeking attitudes toward regular primary care among AA men, and (c) improve their lifestyle-related health behaviors by leveraging the influence of women in their lives. The community-engaged educational intervention targeted both men and women and included eight 90-min sessions per cohort. Topics included prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, health-care access, and healthy lifestyle. Sessions were both didactic and interactive. A pre-/post-intervention questionnaire assessed knowledge. Interviews were conducted with male participants and a focus group discussion (FGD) with women to assess program impact. Interview and FGD transcripts were analyzed for themes and recommendations. Major themes were—increased knowledge/awareness of risk associated with chronic conditions, change in health-care-seeking attitudes, increased self-efficacy to engage the health-care system, and lifestyle changes. Other impacts reported were building community/social support, a safe and enabling learning environment, and enhanced community health status overall. Recommendations included having extended, more in-depth sessions, targeting the younger generation, smaller cohort sizes, and more community-based health programming. Community-engaged health promotion using a cohort model as well as including women can be effective in increasing knowledge, enhancing self-efficacy, and providing the much-needed social support. These can influence health-related behaviors and thus contribute to improving health outcomes for AA men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 26 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • African American
  • Prostate cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • health inequality/disparity
  • health-care issues
  • oncology/cancer
  • physiological and endocrine disorders


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