A community-based wellness program to reduce depression in African Americans: Results from a pilot intervention

Christina Nicolaidis, Corliss Mckeever, Sandra Meucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: African Americans are less likely than nonHispanic Whites to find antidepressants acceptable or seek care for depression. Objective: To develop and pilot test a culturally tailored, community-based, psychoeducational wellness and exercise promotion program to reduce depressive symptoms in African Americans. Methods: Participants were African Americans with moderate depressive symptoms who were interested in exercise but were not exercising regularly. They attended a 6-week psychoeducational group program during which they set personal activity goals and learned depression self-management skills. We conducted pre- and postintervention surveys and postintervention feedback sessions. Results: Twenty-one African Americans participated in the intervention. The program had excellent attendance and satisfaction. We found a large reduction in depressive symptoms, with mean Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) scores dropping from 14.8 to 7.1(p<.0001), and increases in exercise and depression self-efficacy and behaviors. Conclusions: This pilot study offers promising preliminary evidence to inform further research on the use of community-based, culturally tailored wellness programs to address depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • African americans
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Communitybased programs
  • Culturally tailored interventions
  • Depression
  • Exercise
  • Health promotion
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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