Beyond the Cathedral: Building Trust to Engage the African American Community in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

ArticleinHealth Promotion Practice 10(4):485-9 · October 2009with38 Reads
DOI: 10.1177/1524839909342848 · Source: PubMed
Effective efforts to eliminate health disparities must be grounded in strong community partnerships and trusting relationships between academic institutions and minority communities. However, there are often barriers to such efforts, including the frequent need to rely on time-limited funding mechanisms that take categorical approaches. This article provides an overview of health promotion and disease prevention projects implemented through the Community Outreach and Information Dissemination Core (COID) of the Center for Minority Health, within the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. The COID is one of five Cores that comprised the University of Pittsburgh's NIH Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, and Research on Disparities in Health and Training (EXPORT Health) funded from 2002 to 2007 by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Based in large part on the success of the community engagement activities, in 2007, the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, designated the CMH as a Research Center of Excellence on Minority Health Disparities. COID major initiatives included the Community Research Advisory Board, Health Disparity Working Groups, Health Advocates in Reach, Healthy Class of 2010, and the Healthy Black Family Project. Lessons learned may provide guidance to other academic institutions, community-based organizations, and health departments who seek to engage minority communities in changing social norms to support health promotion and disease prevention.
    • "Prior well-known research atrocities (i.e. Tuskegee syphilis study; Huang & Coker, 2010), the perception that African Americans will not be treated equitably (Hammond, 2010; Willis & Porche, 2006), and the belief that researchers consistently take from the community and give little back in return fuel this mistrust (Ford et al., 2009; WhiteCooper, Dawkins, Kamin, & Anderson, 2009). Research conducted to discover the specific reasons that African American men participate in volunteer/community work reveals that African American men are motivated for the greater good of the community and for altruistic reasons (Hyman, 2006; Mattis et al., 2004; Mattis, Hearn, & Jagers, 2002). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because interventions developed in partnership with African American fathers not residing with their children are virtually non-existent, existing interventions fail to address the multiple factors that constrain these fathers' positive involvement with their children. We developed a videotape fatherhood intervention: Building Bridges to Fatherhood. In collaboration with a Fathers Advisory Council composed of 12 African American fathers, we used Aranda's framework for community-based nursing intervention development to design the intervention. Data from 13 focus group meetings show Advisory Council members' insights on program structure and content, fathers' commitment to their children and communities, and the benefits they garnered from Council participation. The implications for involving fathers in intervention development include using relevant language, vernacular, and interpersonal interactions. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:490-506, 2012.
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    • "Recruitment took place in various community settings in these neighborhoods, including churches, retirement centers, community health fairs/events, barbershops and beauty salons, and community centers. In addition, participants were recruited through word-of-mouth networks (Ford et al. 2009; Thomas and Quinn 2008). Participants were eligible if they were 18 years or older, spoke and read English, and were able to provide informed consent. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Few studies examine the use of family history to influence risk perceptions in the African American population. This study examined the influence of a family health history (FHH) intervention on risk perceptions for breast (BRCA), colon (CRC), and prostate cancers (PRCA) among African Americans in Pittsburgh, PA. Participants (n = 665) completed pre- and post-surveys and FHHs. We compared their objective and perceived risks, classified as average, moderate, or high, and examined the accuracy of risk perceptions before and after the FHH intervention. The majority of participants had accurate risk perceptions post-FHH. Of those participants who were inaccurate pre-FHH, 43.3%, 43.8%, and 34.5% for BRCA, CRC, and PRCA, respectively, adopted accurate risk perceptions post-FHH intervention. The intervention was successful in a community setting. It has the potential to lead to healthy behavior modifications because participants adopted accurate risk perceptions. We identified a substantial number of at-risk individuals who could benefit from targeted prevention strategies, thus decreasing racial/ethnic cancer disparities.
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    • "The project uses evidence-based interventions from NIH prevention trials, such as the Diabetes Prevention Program, to prevent and control diabetes and hypertension. (Ford et al., 2009) The HBFP represents a larger vision of eliminating health disparities, and creating healthier communities, one individual, one family, and one social network at a time. It is the success of the HBFP that gave rise to this project, and called our attention to the necessity to understand the uniqueness of the project and the genesis of these partnerships (seeTable 1 for a description of partners). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study seeks to examine the process of building the capacity to address health disparities in several urban African American neighborhoods. An inter-organizational network consisting of a research university, community members, community organizations, media partners, and foundations was formed to develop a community-based intervention designed to provide health promotion and disease prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In-depth qualitative interviews (n = 18) with foundation executives and project directors, civic organization leadership, community leaders, county epidemiologist, and university partners were conducted. Our study contextualizes a process to build a public health partnership using cultural, community, organizational, and societal factors necessary to address health disparities. Results showed 5 important factors to build organizational capacity: leadership, institutional commitment, trust, credibility, and inter-organizational networks. These factors reflected other important organizational and community capacity indicators such as: community context, organizational policies, practices and structures, and the establishment of new commitments and partnerships important to comprehensively address urban health disparities. Understanding these factors to address African American health disparities will provide lessons learned for health educators, researchers, practitioners, foundations, and communities interested in building and sustaining capacity efforts through the design, implementation, and maintenance of a community-based health promotion intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011
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