In recent years, the church has emerged as a new avenue for the implementation of high blood pressure control programs. Although churches historically have been involved with various health-related efforts and continue to exert a tremendous influence on behavior and behavioral change, a review of the literature reveals no hard data with regard to the influence of hypertension programs in church settings upon actual reduction in the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension. An investigation into the effectiveness of church-based hypertension control programs in improving the health of the community by reducing the prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension will be conducted in a six-county area in rural southwest central Georgia. The target area is the site of the Middle Georgia Community Hypertension Intervention Program (CHIP), a research project supported by NHLBI from 1979 through 1984 to study the effectiveness of a comprenhensive community effort to reduce uncontrolled hypertension in a high-risk rural area. Four of these counties served in an experimental situation in which various programs of education and coordination of available resources were used to combat the 30% prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension among area residents. The remaining two counties (control situation) received none of these interventions. Fort Valley State College, in conjunction with Emory University School of Medicine, proposes to test the hypothesis that a targeted-intensified church program (including methods which will serve to insure increased participation and long-term compliance) can increase various facets of hypertension control when compared to either the usual church-based hypertension program and to a no-intervention control group. To accomplish our objectives, we offer a defined population which has been investigated thoroughly and described in detail; a community recpetive to innovative methods of hypertension control and community blood pressure research; and strong linkages between Emory University, the Georgia Department of Human Resources, other state and federal departments, and agencies interested in the investigation and control of hypertension.

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Fort Valley State University
Schools of Education
Fort Valley
United States
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