From 2013 to 2015, the LiveWell Greenville At Worship Evaluation Team assessed and evaluated the effects of congregation-led health promotion initiatives at eight faith communities. After one year of the health promotion initiative, congregants (the majority of which were African American, female, and over 45 years old) reported the following:
- Significantly higher participation in physical activity at a gym
- Significantly lower lack of motivation for exercise
- Significantly fewer offerings of fried foods, baked goods, sweets, and sodas at church events
- Significantly fewer reports of high blood pressure diagnosis
To illuminate these study results, Drs. Lynette M. Gibson and Toshua W. Kennedy have recruited parishioners from six congregations in Greenville who completed surveys both before and after the health promotion initiative at their church. These parishioners will document and share their personal experiences with healthy eating and active living through photos. This type of qualitative research is called Photovoice, and allows participants to share and describe selected photos in a group setting. Photographs and discussions from the group will be recorded and analyzed to create a collective voice for the group relative to healthy eating and active living.
The results of this project will provide valuable insights into parishioners’ experiences of the LiveWell At Worship initiative at their church, and how it affected their perception of healthy eating and active living. We applaud the hard work and creativity of Drs. Gibson and Kennedy in the design of this qualitative research study. This study will be completed with financial support from Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Clemson University and Furman University.
At the conclusion of the study, results will be presented to the public. More information will be posted when details are available.