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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3096.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 10:45 AM

Abstract #116340

Differences and Similarities between African Americans and Latinos on Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Genetics

EmyLou A.S. Rodriguez, Office of the Medical Director, March of Dimes, 1275 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY 10605, 914-997-4543, Erodriguez@marchofdimes.com, Diane Ashton, MD, MPH, March of Dimes National Office, 1275 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY 10605, and Aida L. Giachello, PhD, Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center, University of Illinois at Chicago, Midwest Latino health Res. Ctr, 1640 W. Roosevelt Rd. #636, Chicago, IL 60608.

Objectives. March of Dimes with funding from the HRSA Genetics Services Branch in collaboration with national and local partners completed the Genetics Education Needs Evaluation (GENE) Project in 2005, a five-year effort to evaluate genetics education needs in traditionally underserved communities. Findings of these needs assessments revealed common issues and cultural differences between Latinos and African Americans. Methods. The GENE project engaged the communities of Washington Heights/Inwood (WH/I), NY and Flint and Lansing, MI in the development of coalitions/consortiums to conduct needs assessment activities using community based participatory approaches. The Michigan Demonstration conducted over twenty community dialogues to assess knowledge, attitudes and behaviors (KAB) in the African American community. The WH/I Coalition conducted four focus groups, and over 400 face-to-face surveys of Latinos, African Americans and Non-Hispanic Whites. Results. Latinos and African Americans tend to face similar barriers to access that prevent utilization of available genetic services, including the lack of linguistically- and culturally- appropriate genetics education materials or services. Both communities believe that certain chronic diseases have a strong genetic basis and expressed the desire to know more. Latinos focused more on genetics relating to pregnancy outcomes, while African Americans focused on ELSI. Differences emerged regarding preferred methods of health communication and perceived genetics education needs. This session contrasts the final analysis of two needs assessments conducted in the Latino and African American communities and how these findings translate into culturally distinct community action plans. This session concludes with recommendations for community genetics education, policy work and future research.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Genetics, Underserved Populations

Related Web page: www.marchofdimes.com/geneproject

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Applying Outcome-based Evaluations and Innovative Approaches to Improve Prenatal Care

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA