176547 Different than Thou? Determinants of African American Attitudes toward Faith-based Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure Prevention Partnerships

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cheryl Armstead, MS(R), PhD , Department of Psychology, South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Progrm, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Eugena Kenyatta Griffin, MA , Clinical-Community Psychology, Ph.D. Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
John R. Ureda, DrPH , Insights Consulting, Inc., Columbia, SC
Delores Scott , Carolina Community Based Health Supports Networks, Columbia, SC
Deloris Williams, RN, MSN, PhD , Carolina Community Based Health Supports Networks, Columbia, SC
BACKGROUND: Passive exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is disproportionately associated with cancer and chronic diseases among African Americans(AAs). The determinants of ETS prevention and outreach among AA faith-communities are virtually unexplored. Faith-communities are seen as innovators of change regarding ETS prevention partnerships within higher risk communities. As early adoptors we know little about congregant's attitudes partnership toward higher risk communities OBJECTIVE: The objective was to conduct formative research among AA church innovators regarding ETS prevention partnerships. The aims are: 1)Are groups that researchers perceive as innovators (regularly attending church congregants) connected to higher risk communities? 2)What determinants make diffusion of innovation more likely? METHOD: A snowball sample of AA congregants was obtained. AA investigators moderated focus groups. Field notes were transcribed and analyzed. RESULTS: Church culture was seen as unsupportive of ETS education and prevention. Congregants viewed ETS and direct smoking reduction as a very low priority of the higher risk AA community. Respondents cited lack of education, apathy, and low perceived vulnerability to the effects of ETS exposure as barriers to successful partnerships in higher risk communities. CONCLUSIONS: This formative study dispels researcher myths about the homogenous diffusion of innovations across subgroups of the AA community. Our group of innovators(church congregants) perceived themselves as unlike AA communities with the highest risk of ETS exposure. Faith-based community interventions in community-based participatory research must reinforce linkages between innovators (church congregants), clergy, and higher risk communities as partners in ETS prevention.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how environmental exposure to tobacco smoke (ETS) disproportionately affects African American men and women. 2. Describe differences in risk for ETS exposure related to culture, community, and socioeconomic status. 3. Describe application of diffusion of innovations theory and how it could facilitate effective community intervention partnerships. 4. Articulate the implication of our qualitative findings from the perspective of AA church congregates (potential innovators of change) and higher ETS risk communities. 5. Apply our findings to faith-based participatory ETS prevention programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on this pilot study and have written the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.