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Interest in Health Promotion Among Korean American Seventh-day Adventists Attending a Religious Retreat

  • Jo, Angela M. (Family & Community Medicine, University of New Mexico) ;
  • Maxwell, Annette E. (UCLA Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA School of Public Health, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity) ;
  • Choi, Sun-Hye (UCLA Department of Community Health Sciences) ;
  • Bastani, Roshan (UCLA Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA School of Public Health, UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity)
  • Published : 2012.06.30

Abstract

Background: Little is known about interest in faith-based health promotion programs among Asian American populations. Among the Christian denominations, the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church is known to place a strong doctrinal emphasis on health. Objectives: To understand appropriate ways to develop and implement health promotion programs and to conduct research among Korean American SDAs. Methods: We collaborated with the North American Division of Korean SDA Churches which sponsors annual week-long religious retreats for their church members. We developed and administered a 10-page questionnaire at their 2009 retreat in order to assess socio-demographic and church characteristics, religiosity, perceived relationship between health and religion, and interest and preferences for church-based health promotion programs. Results: Overall, 223 participants completed our survey (123 in Korean and 100 in English). The sample consisted of regular churchgoers who were involved in a variety of helping activities, and many holding leadership positions in their home churches. The vast majority was interested in receiving health information at church (80%) in the form of seminars, cooking classes and workshops (50-60%). Fewer respondents were interested in support groups (27%). Some interests and preferences differed between English and Korean language groups. Conclusion: Korean American SDA church retreat participants from a large geographic area are very interested in receiving health information and promoting health at their churches and can potentially serve as "agents of influence" in their respective communities.

Keywords

Korean Americans;7th-day adventists;religion;health;community-based participatory research

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