Designing Worship Services to Support African-American Persons Living with Dementia

Fayron Epps, Jenny Choe, Karah Alexander, Glenna Brewster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The church has played an integral role in the African-American community for a number of years. With the growth in population of African-American older adults living with dementia, it is critical for the church to understand how they can support these individuals in continuing their engagement in meaningful religious activities. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to explore how to design or modify worship services to support African-Americans living with dementia. Interviews were conducted with church leaders, current and former caregivers, and service providers (n = 12). Analysis of their responses revealed worship services should include components in relation to the following categories: “simplicity,” “support,” “imagery and sound,” and “music.” Although participants held different views on the delivery of worship services for persons living with dementia, interview results provided key elements on how worship services can be meaningful and supportive of African-Americans living with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2163-2176
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Church
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Liturgy
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Religious studies


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