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Keywords:

  • community outreach;
  • faith-community nursing;
  • hypertension;
  • parish nursing

ABSTRACT Objective: Our study describes the services faith-community nurses provide to a community-dwelling sample of patients with elevated blood pressure.

Design and Sample: The faith-community nurses completed a survey describing services provided to study participants at each patient encounter. We describe the type of contact and the frequency and types of services provided to these patients. From October 2006 to October 2007, we conducted a partnered study with a faith-community nursing program and enrolled 100 adults with elevated blood pressure from church health fairs.

Measures: Patient demographics and faith-community nurse services provided.

Results: Data from 63 of 108 (58%) visits to faith-community nurses made by 33 participants were collected from surveys completed by the nurses. The majority of the participants were female (64%), Latino (61%), with an average age of 59 (SD=11) years and incomes below US$30,000 (83%). The most frequent services patients received from faith-community nurses were blood pressure measurement (73%), hypertension-specific education on dietary changes (67%), and supportive counseling (56%).

Conclusions: Faith-community nurses represent a new method of supportive self-management for low-income individuals with a chronic condition who may otherwise have limited access to health services. Further research is needed to understand the effect of faith-community nurse interventions on improving chronic disease health outcomes in these communities.