181452 Rural Latino Community-Initiated Assessment: Process and Outcomes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 10:30 AM

Carol L. Macnee, PhD , C/O Health as Human Capital Foundation, Cheyenne, WY
Robin DeCastro, RN, MN , Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Background: An unincorporated rural Latino community in southeast Wyoming approached state government officials regarding concerns about the impact of environmental pollutants on health within their community. State officials asked faculty at the School of Nursing to work with this community regarding their concerns.

Methods: This was a participatory action community assessment, initiated and guided by community members. The unincorporated community consists of about 100 households, with the Water Board being the only official organization. Both quantitative and qualitative components were used. A written questionnaire was developed that included nine major health concerns identified by the community, as well as information about health problems within families. It was translated and back translated so that it could be completed in English or Spanish. A total of 31 questionnaires were completed. In addition, a qualitative open-ended study was completed with five participants in order to increase understanding of the meaning of mental health for this community.

Results: Both the process of developing the assessment and results will be presented. Thirty-two percent of the community members who participated perceived that both “clean air” and “safe streets and sidewalks” were a ‘Big problem' in their community. Of the nine areas assessed, only ‘getting mental health care' was not perceived to be a problem by more than 50% of the members. The average age of participants was 60 (15), and participants had lived in the community for an average of 30 (21) years. Thirty-nine percent of these community members rated their health as ‘fair' or ‘poor'. The qualitative study found one of the biggest concerns among the community was racial/ethnic discrimination.

Conclusions: In the state as a whole only 19.5 percent of those 55-64 years old rated their health as fair to poor, indicating that this Latino community has poorer perceived health than the state as a whole. Though not initially identified by community members, a sense of marginalization and discrimination appear to be major factors in the mental and physical health of this community.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the evolving process of a community assessment with a rural Latino community 2. Discuss the impact of marginalization on the health of a rural Latino community.

Keywords: Assessments, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In collaboration with the community I collected, analyzed and presented to them the information
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.