Power of Peer Support to Change Health Behavior to Reduce Risks for Heart Disease and Stroke for African American Men in a Faith-Based Community

Sohye Lee, Erica Schorr, Niloufar Niakosari Hadidi, Robin Kelley, Diane Treat-Jacobson, Ruth Lindquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Peer support has powerful potential to improve outcomes in a program of health behavior change; yet, how peer support is perceived by participants, its role, and how it contributes to intervention efficacy is not known, especially among African Americans. The purpose of this study was to identify the subjectively perceived experience and potential contributions of peer support to the outcomes of a peer group behavioral intervention designed to change health behavior to reduce risks for heart disease and stroke in African American men in a faith-based community. Methods: A peer support group intervention was implemented to increase health knowledge and to improve health behaviors in line with the American Heart Association’s Life Simple 7 domains (get active, control cholesterol, eat better, manage blood pressure, lose weight, reduce blood sugar, and stop smoking). Fourteen peer group sessions and eight follow-up interviews with program participants were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: Seven key themes emerged, including (1) enhancing access to health behavior information and resources, (2) practicing and applying problem-solving skills with group feedback and support, (3) discussing health behavior challenges and barriers, (4) sharing health behavior changes, (5) sharing perceived health outcome improvements and benefits, (6) feelings of belonging and being cared for, and (7) addressing health of family and community. Conclusion: Qualitative findings revealed a positive perception of peer support and greater understanding of potential reasons why it may be an effective strategy for African American men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1116
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

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Health Behavior
heart disease
stroke
health behavior
African Americans
faith
Heart Diseases
Stroke
Peer Group
community
peer group
health
American Heart Association
Family Health
Self-Help Groups
Health
Blood Glucose
Power (Psychology)
American
smoking

Keywords

  • African American men
  • Behavior change program
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Peer support
  • Risk reduction

Cite this

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title = "Power of Peer Support to Change Health Behavior to Reduce Risks for Heart Disease and Stroke for African American Men in a Faith-Based Community",
abstract = "Introduction: Peer support has powerful potential to improve outcomes in a program of health behavior change; yet, how peer support is perceived by participants, its role, and how it contributes to intervention efficacy is not known, especially among African Americans. The purpose of this study was to identify the subjectively perceived experience and potential contributions of peer support to the outcomes of a peer group behavioral intervention designed to change health behavior to reduce risks for heart disease and stroke in African American men in a faith-based community. Methods: A peer support group intervention was implemented to increase health knowledge and to improve health behaviors in line with the American Heart Association’s Life Simple 7 domains (get active, control cholesterol, eat better, manage blood pressure, lose weight, reduce blood sugar, and stop smoking). Fourteen peer group sessions and eight follow-up interviews with program participants were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: Seven key themes emerged, including (1) enhancing access to health behavior information and resources, (2) practicing and applying problem-solving skills with group feedback and support, (3) discussing health behavior challenges and barriers, (4) sharing health behavior changes, (5) sharing perceived health outcome improvements and benefits, (6) feelings of belonging and being cared for, and (7) addressing health of family and community. Conclusion: Qualitative findings revealed a positive perception of peer support and greater understanding of potential reasons why it may be an effective strategy for African American men.",
keywords = "African American men, Behavior change program, Cardiovascular disease, Peer support, Risk reduction",
author = "Sohye Lee and Erica Schorr and Hadidi, {Niloufar Niakosari} and Robin Kelley and Diane Treat-Jacobson and Ruth Lindquist",
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AU - Lee, Sohye

AU - Schorr, Erica

AU - Hadidi, Niloufar Niakosari

AU - Kelley, Robin

AU - Treat-Jacobson, Diane

AU - Lindquist, Ruth

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N2 - Introduction: Peer support has powerful potential to improve outcomes in a program of health behavior change; yet, how peer support is perceived by participants, its role, and how it contributes to intervention efficacy is not known, especially among African Americans. The purpose of this study was to identify the subjectively perceived experience and potential contributions of peer support to the outcomes of a peer group behavioral intervention designed to change health behavior to reduce risks for heart disease and stroke in African American men in a faith-based community. Methods: A peer support group intervention was implemented to increase health knowledge and to improve health behaviors in line with the American Heart Association’s Life Simple 7 domains (get active, control cholesterol, eat better, manage blood pressure, lose weight, reduce blood sugar, and stop smoking). Fourteen peer group sessions and eight follow-up interviews with program participants were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: Seven key themes emerged, including (1) enhancing access to health behavior information and resources, (2) practicing and applying problem-solving skills with group feedback and support, (3) discussing health behavior challenges and barriers, (4) sharing health behavior changes, (5) sharing perceived health outcome improvements and benefits, (6) feelings of belonging and being cared for, and (7) addressing health of family and community. Conclusion: Qualitative findings revealed a positive perception of peer support and greater understanding of potential reasons why it may be an effective strategy for African American men.

AB - Introduction: Peer support has powerful potential to improve outcomes in a program of health behavior change; yet, how peer support is perceived by participants, its role, and how it contributes to intervention efficacy is not known, especially among African Americans. The purpose of this study was to identify the subjectively perceived experience and potential contributions of peer support to the outcomes of a peer group behavioral intervention designed to change health behavior to reduce risks for heart disease and stroke in African American men in a faith-based community. Methods: A peer support group intervention was implemented to increase health knowledge and to improve health behaviors in line with the American Heart Association’s Life Simple 7 domains (get active, control cholesterol, eat better, manage blood pressure, lose weight, reduce blood sugar, and stop smoking). Fourteen peer group sessions and eight follow-up interviews with program participants were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: Seven key themes emerged, including (1) enhancing access to health behavior information and resources, (2) practicing and applying problem-solving skills with group feedback and support, (3) discussing health behavior challenges and barriers, (4) sharing health behavior changes, (5) sharing perceived health outcome improvements and benefits, (6) feelings of belonging and being cared for, and (7) addressing health of family and community. Conclusion: Qualitative findings revealed a positive perception of peer support and greater understanding of potential reasons why it may be an effective strategy for African American men.

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