Reach and Adoption of a Randomized Weight Loss Maintenance Trial in Rural African Americans of Faith: The WORD (Wholeness, Oneness, Righteousness, Deliverance)

Karen H.Kim Yeary, Page C. Moore, C. Heath Gauss, Carol Cornell, T. Elaine Prewitt, Samjhana Shakya, Jerome Turner, Catherine Scarbrough, Gwenndolyn Porter, Paul A. Estabrooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: There is minimal information regarding the Reach and Adoption of evidence-based weight loss maintenance interventions for African Americans of faith. Design: The WORD (Wholeness, Oneness, Righteousness, Deliverance) was an 18-month, cluster randomized trial designed to reduce and maintain weight loss in African American adults of faith. Participants received the Diabetes Prevention Program adapted core weight loss program for 6 months, and churches were subsequently randomized to 12-month maintenance treatment or control. All participants underwent body weight and associated behavioral and psychosocial assessments at baseline, 6, 12, and 18 months. The current article focuses on assessing Reach and Adoption at baseline and 6 months using the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance framework. Setting: Lower Mississippi Delta. Participants: Thirty churches, 61 WORD Leaders (WLs), and 426 participants. Intervention: Group delivered by trained community members (WLs). Measures: Body mass index and percentage weight lost from baseline to 6-month follow-up were measured. Reach was assessed at participant, WL, and church levels through calculating participation rates and sociodemographics of each level. Adoption was assessed at church and WL levels. Analysis: Descriptive statistics summarized baseline characteristics of each level. Continuous and categorical end point comparisons were made. Results: Participants’ participation rate was 0.84 (n = 437 agreed to participate, n = 519 eligible invited to participate); they were predominantly female, employed, and had a mean age of 49.8. Dropouts by 6 months were younger, had differential marital status, and religious attendance compared with retained participants. Church participation rate was 0.63 (n = 30 enrolled, n = 48 eligible approached) and the majority reported ≤100 active members. The WL participation rate was 0.61 (n = 61 implemented intervention, n = 100 eligible approached); they were primarily female and aged 53.9 (mean). Conclusion: Recruitment, engagement, and delivery strategies employed by the WORD show promise of sustained engagement and adoption in other faith-based behavioral weight management programs for African Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-557
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • RE-AIM
  • community-based participatory research
  • faith-based
  • obesity
  • rural
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Reach and Adoption of a Randomized Weight Loss Maintenance Trial in Rural African Americans of Faith: The WORD (Wholeness, Oneness, Righteousness, Deliverance)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this