Mhealth intervention promoting cardiovascular health among African-Americans: Recruitment and baseline characteristics of a pilot study

Laprincess C. Brewer, Sarah Jenkins, Kandace Lackore, Jacqueline Johnson, Clarence Jones, Lisa A. Cooper, Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, Sharonne N. Hayes, Christi Patten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mobile health (mHealth) interventions are promising avenues to promote cardiovascular (CV) health among African-Americans (AAs) and culturally tailored technology-based interventions are emerging for this population. Objective: The objectives of this study were to use a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to recruit AAs into a pilot intervention study of an innovative mHealth CV health promotion program and to characterize technology use patterns and eHealth literacy (EHL). Methods: Community partners from five predominately AA churches in southeast Minnesota collaborated with our academic institution to recruit AA congregants into the pilot study. Field notes as well as communications between the study team and community partners were used to design the recruitment strategy and its implementation with a goal of enrolling 50 participants. At its core, the recruitment strategy included community kickoff events to detail the state-of-the-art nature of the mHealth intervention components, the utility of CV health assessments (physical examination, laboratory studies and surveys) and the participants' role in advancing our understanding of the efficacy of mHealth interventions among racial/ethnic minority groups. Detailed recruitment data were documented throughout the study. A self-administered, electronic survey measured sociodemographics, technology use and EHL (eHEALS scale). Results: A total of 50 participants (70% women) from five AA churches were recruited over a one-month period. The majority (>90%) of participants reported using some form of mobile technology with all utilizing these technologies within their homes. Greater than half (60% [30/50]) reported being "very comfortable"with mobile technologies. Overall, participants had high EHL (84.8% [39/46] with eHEALS score ≥26) with no differences by sex. Conclusions: This study illustrates the feasibility and success of a CBPR approach in recruiting AAs into mHealth intervention research and contributes to the growing body of evidence that AAs have high EHL, are high-users of mobile technologies, and thus are likely to be receptive to mHealth interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere31
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • African-Americans
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Faith-based intervention
  • Health disparities
  • MHealth intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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