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Perceptions of African American/blacks toward prevention and treatment healthcare services

Ahlam Jadalla, MSN, PhD Student1, Irene Agutu Oduor, BSN, MPH Student2, Iris Mamier, MSN, PhD Student1, Paneet Kakkar, MB, MPH Student2, Susanne B. Montgomery, PhD, MPH3, Virginia Diane Woods, DrPH Candidate4, and Patti Herring, PhD, RN5. (1) Graduate School - Nursing, Loma Linda University, Andersen Dr., Loma Linda, CA 92354, (909) 856-7807, ajadalla03g@univ.llu.edu, (2) Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Nichol Hall, Andersen Dr., Loma Linda, CA 92354, (3) Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Nicol Hall Room 1511, Loma Linda, CA 92350, (4) Inland Wellness Information Network (IWIN), African American Health Initiative (AAHI), San Bernardino County Medical Society, 952 S. Mt. Vernon Ave., Ste. C, Colton, CA 92324-4222, (5) School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion and Education, Loma Linda University, Nichol Hall, Room 1501, Loma Linda, CA 92350

In San Bernardino County California African Americans die 13 years sooner than Whites, Black man at age 56, and Black woman at age 62. To decrease disparity in health outcomes, a local African American Health Initiative (AAHI) conducted a countywide participatory community health planning project to better understand social ecological barriers to accessing prevention programs and treatment services for heart disease, hypertension, cancer and HIV/AIDS. We will discuss the use of qualitative methods (25 informant interviews and 12 focus groups) conducted to identify attitudes toward prevention, treatment and available health care resources and the subsequent community engagement process that resulted in the development of Afrocentric test instruments. Data was context analyzed and results identified fear of stigma, notion of invincibility, fear of loss of partner, a deep distrust of the health care system, lack of services tailored to the Black culture and lifestyle, and lack of readily accessible resources in their communities. Findings were then used to develop a health provider and a local resident survey. Within three months over 500 Blacks from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds volunteered to complete the resident questionnaire. Participants expressed that active participation in prevention programs and treatment services is directly related to the perception of the programs as community-based, and designed and conducted in a culturally appropriate manner with local resident input. Active participation and engagement of local Black populations in health planning likely lays a foundation to encourage long-term individual behavior change, create social ecological positive reinforcement for change, and social capital for sustainability

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session participants will be able to

Keywords: African American, Public Health Infrastructure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities for Engaging African American/Black Men in Prevention and Healthcare

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA