Effects of a Faith-Based Hypertension Prevention and Management Program in Hispanic Communities on Participants' Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Hypertension-Related Outcomes: A Pilot Study




Wilhite, Bradley

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Hypertension affects nearly a half of the United States adult population. Uncontrolled hypertension can result in serious health complications. Lifestyle factors such as regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy bodyweight, and routine blood pressure monitoring can prevent and control hypertension. The "Building Healthy Temples with Less Pressure (BHT LP) program was a hypertension prevention and control program designed for Hispanic faith community settings. A study was conducted to assess the effects of BHT LP on participants' physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and hypertension-related outcomes. The BHT LP Program consisted of a Medical Moment presented to the entire church congregation and a series of 12 spiritually-oriented group-based health education sessions. A single group pre- post-test design was used to assess program impacts. Linear mixed models were used for analysis, including key outcomes as the dependent variables and time point as a fixed factor, while controlling for age and gender as covariates. The BHT LP Program was tested in two churches among 40 participants with hypertension or at risk of developing the condition. Significant improvements were observed in participants' physical activity level (+87.7 minutes/week ± 29.0; p =0.004), eating behaviors (2.3-point improvement ± 0.7; p =0.002), and hypertension self-care behaviors (15.5-point improvement ± 3.7; p =0.002). Among overweight and/or obese participants, significant improvements to body mass index (-1.0 kg/m2 ± 0.3; p =0.002) and waist circumference (-4.1 cm ± 1.4; p =0.01) were also observed. BHT LP merits potential future program scale-up and dissemination to a wider population.



Church-based health, Faith-based, Hispanic health, Hypertension, Hypertension self-management



Health and Kinesiology