Feasibility and acceptability of a faith-based mind-body intervention among African American adults

Scherezade K. Mama, Nishat Bhuiyan, Alejandro Chaoul, Lorenzo Cohen, Christopher P. Fagundes, DIana S. Hoover, Larkin L. Strong, Yisheng Li, Nga T. Nguyen, Lorna H. McNeill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Physical activity reduces cancer risk, yet African American adults remain insufficiently active, contributing to cancer health disparities. Harmony & Health (HH) was developed as a culturally adapted mind-body intervention to promote physical activity, psychosocial well-being, and quality of life among a church-based sample of overweight/obese, insufficiently active African American adults. Men and women were recruited to the study through an existing church partnership. Eligible participants (N = 50) were randomized to a movement-based mind-body intervention (n = 26) or waitlist control (n = 24). Participants in the intervention attended 16 mind-body sessions over 8 weeks and completed a physical assessment, questionnaires on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and psychosocial factors, and accelerometry at baseline (T1), post-intervention (T2), and 6 week follow-up (T3). Eighty percent of participants (94% women, M age = 49.7 ± 9.4 years, M body mass index = 32.8 ± 5.2 kg/m2) completed the study, and 61.5% of intervention participants attended ≥10 mind-body sessions. Participants self-reported doing 78.8 ± 102.9 (median = 40.7, range: 0-470.7) min/day of MVPA and did 27.1 ± 20.7 (median = 22.0, range: 0-100.5) min/day of accelerometer-measured MVPA at baseline. Trends suggest that mind-body participants self-reported greater improvements in physical activity and psychosocial well-being from baseline to post-intervention than waitlist control participants. HH is feasible and acceptable among African American adults. Trends suggest that the mind-body intervention led to improvements in physical activity and psychosocial outcomes. This study extends the literature on the use of mind-body practices to promote physical and psychological health and reduce cancer disparities in African American adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)928-937
Number of pages10
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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