To describe the factors facilitating the implementation of heart health promotion programs for older adults in Anglican, United, and Catholic churches.
The study used qualitative methods comprising semistructured interviews and focus groups.
The interviews and focus groups were conducted in Anglican, Catholic, and United churches located in the Canadian cities of Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario.
Twelve ordained pastors and 21 older parishioners who attended church regularly and who had no health conditions were recruited to best explain how churches could be suitable locations for health promotion activities targeting older adults.
Twelve semistructured interviews with the pastors and three focus groups with the 21 parishioners were undertaken. A component of the Precede-Proceed model (a model for planning health education and health promotion programs and policies) was applied to the findings after direct content analysis of the data.
Participants identified pastor leadership, funding for a parish nurse, community-focused interventions, secured infrastructure, and social support from congregation members as pertinent factors required for implementing health promotion programs in Anglican, United, and Catholic churches.
The findings have particular relevance for health promotion and public health because they suggest factors that would be necessary to design church-based heart health promotion programs for older adults at risk of chronic diseases.