We are thankful for the opportunity to conduct research that will impact the community in which we live.
The GoodNEWS project team is based in the heart of the medical community at University of North Texas Health Science Center. The team’s research starts with the understanding that significant disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, prevalence, and health outcomes persist among racial and ethnic minorities, and those with lower socioeconomic status (SES). Although, Healthy People 2010 – the nation’s public health agenda – and national clinical guidelines endorse lifestyle change for preventing and reducing CVD prevalence, numerous barriers limit healthy lifestyles in many communities. New risk reduction strategies are needed using community-based participatory research (CBPR) techniques, which allow researchers and communities to combine their efforts promoting health, preventing disease, and reducing health disparities.
The GoodNEWS Trial (Genes, Nutrition, Exercise, and Spiritual Growth) is an 18-month effectiveness trial among 20 African-American congregations participating in the GoodNEWS faith-community based lay health promotion program. After training, congregations are randomized to either GoodNEWS with a health maintenance intervention (GoodNEWS-I, or GoodNEWS Community Health Ministry group) or GoodNEWS program alone (GoodNEWS-PA, or GoodNEWS Independent Health Ministry group). The maintenance intervention combines elements of community-based support and medical care. Primary data collection will occur at baseline, 18, and 36 months with the two primary outcomes being levels of physical activity as measured by Seven Day Physical Activity Recall (PAR) and changes in eating behavior as measured by the Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ). The primary hypothesis is that the maintenance group will significantly increase physical activity and healthy eating behavior compared to the program alone group. We also hypothesize that lipoprotein and glucose levels, blood pressure, and percent body fat will be significantly improved over baseline in the GoodNEWS Community Health Ministry group (GoodNEWS-I) and that these changes will be significantly greater than in the GoodNEWS Independent Health Ministry group (GoodNEWS-PA).
Our research design is based on two key models: Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and the Faith-Health Model. Continue reading about these in this section to learn about these important aspects of our research foundation. Based on the findings from the GoodNEWS Trial we hope to contribute to greater understanding of effective community-based primary prevention strategies for reducing risk factors for heart disease and stroke among African-Americans. Our research is meant to serve both the scientific and the general community, as we strive to learn more about how to reduce and prevent chronic disease in our communities. As we develop our GoodNEWS community program and evaluate its outcomes, we hope to share our findings in a way that will enhance the adoption of preventive medicine models in academic and traditional medical settings, and also in the homes, churches, clinics, organizations, and public settings where people live their lives. We have a particular desire to serve communities most affected with today’s burden of disease.