Perceived Health Needs of Urban African American Church Congregants

Authors

  • Kathleen A. Baldwin Ph.D., R.N.,

    1. Kathleen A. Baldwin, Ph.D., R.N. Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Peoria Regional Program. Patricia L. Humbles, Ph.D. (c), R.N. Data Analyst Administrator, Caterpillar, Inc. Francesca A. Armmer, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor & Chairperson, Department of Nursing, Bradley University. Marilee Cramer, M.S., R.N., C.S., Family Nurse Practitioner, Doctors/St. John's Health Network, New Berlin Health Clinic.
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  • Patricia L. Humbles Ph.D. (c), R.N.,

    1. Kathleen A. Baldwin, Ph.D., R.N. Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Peoria Regional Program. Patricia L. Humbles, Ph.D. (c), R.N. Data Analyst Administrator, Caterpillar, Inc. Francesca A. Armmer, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor & Chairperson, Department of Nursing, Bradley University. Marilee Cramer, M.S., R.N., C.S., Family Nurse Practitioner, Doctors/St. John's Health Network, New Berlin Health Clinic.
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  • Francesca A. Armmer Ph.D., R.N.,

    1. Kathleen A. Baldwin, Ph.D., R.N. Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Peoria Regional Program. Patricia L. Humbles, Ph.D. (c), R.N. Data Analyst Administrator, Caterpillar, Inc. Francesca A. Armmer, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor & Chairperson, Department of Nursing, Bradley University. Marilee Cramer, M.S., R.N., C.S., Family Nurse Practitioner, Doctors/St. John's Health Network, New Berlin Health Clinic.
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  • Marilee Cramer M.S., R.N., C.S.

    1. Kathleen A. Baldwin, Ph.D., R.N. Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Peoria Regional Program. Patricia L. Humbles, Ph.D. (c), R.N. Data Analyst Administrator, Caterpillar, Inc. Francesca A. Armmer, Ph.D., R.N., Associate Professor & Chairperson, Department of Nursing, Bradley University. Marilee Cramer, M.S., R.N., C.S., Family Nurse Practitioner, Doctors/St. John's Health Network, New Berlin Health Clinic.
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Address correspondence to Kathleen A. Baldwin, Ph.D., R.N. Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing, Peoria Regional Program, One Illini Drive Box 1649, Peoria, IL 61656–1649, 309/671–8467

Abstract

Theory-based assessment of congregant expectations and needs should be conducted prior to beginning a parish nurse program. However, no such assessments are found in the literature. Using Andersen's Health Access Model as a framework, investigators conducted interviews with 117 randomly selected congregants in five urban African American churches to describe their perceived needs and expectations. Causing most concern were the following: (a) symptoms of illness—high blood pressure (50.4%), dental problems (43.6%), and back pain (41%); and (b) health habits/risks—weight (75%), exercise (63%), and diet (63%). Younger adults were significantly more concerned about all aspects of their health than their older counterparts. Women were significantly more likely to express concern about health habits and health risks than males. No significant relationship was found between perceived need and access to care. Although terming health care services “adequate”, congregants expressed many unmet health needs. This seemingly contradictory finding may illuminate a concrete role for the parish nurse, i.e., addressing personal health care concerns not alleviated by the current “adequate” health care delivery system. This study's significance lies not only in providing programming guidance, but also in theoretical insights into the role of the parish nurse.

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