180821 Exploring Sojourner Syndrome: An Examination of Stress, Hypertension and Coping among Black Women

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Keri Norris, PhD , Epidemiology & Statistics Branch, Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
The purpose of this research was to examine the associations between social determinants of health, experiences of discrimination, perceived stress, coping styles and hypertension in a sample of low-income Black women. The study was informed by the linkage of these factors within the Sojourner Syndrome Conceptual Model, to inform prevention and interventions for cardiovascular health disparities. Methods: Using secondary data from the Heart Healthy and Ethnically Relevant (HHER) Lifestyle Program, a series of correlational and logistic regression analyses were used to determine the relationship between social determinants of health, experiences of racial and gender discrimination, stress, coping and hypertensive outcomes among a sample of 91 Black women aged 35-84. Results: Low-income Black women in the HHER Lifestyle Program experienced racial and gender discrimination, but perceptions of stress were low among this group. Perceived stress was not correlated with hypertension status. Coping styles, specifically Collective Coping, are employed by these women; however coping did not moderate the relationship between perceived stress and hypertension status. Conclusions: Participants in the HHER Program may be more resilient than women in past studies and avoid reporting perceived stress. The findings imply the need for further research into Black women's health status, perceived stressors, experiences of discrimination and how they cope.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the unique position of Black women in regards to social location and health consequences 2. Identify stressors and ways of coping most common to Black women 3.Recognize the importance of the intersection of race and gender for Black women's health

Keywords: Health Disparities, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary investigator of the study.
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.