Objectives. We examined the published literature on health programs in faith-based organizations to determine the effectiveness of these programs. Methods. We conducted a systematic literature review of articles describing faith-based health activities. Articles (n=386) were screened for eligibility (n=105), whether a faith-based health program was described (n=53), and whether program effects were reported (28). Results. Most programs focused on primary prevention (50.9%), general health maintenance (25.5%), cardiovascular health (20.7%), or cancer (18.9%). Significant effects reported included reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure levels, weight, and disease symptoms and increases in the use of mammography and breast self-examination. Conclusions. Faith-based programs can improve health outcomes. Means are needed for increasing the frequency with which such programs are evaluated and the results of these evaluations are disseminated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health