194256 Wisconsin Native Youth Tobacco Survey: A partnership that weaves the web for future generations

Monday, November 9, 2009

Isaiah Brokenleg, MPH , Wisconsin Tribes Putting Prevention to Work, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Lac du Flambeau, WI
Teresa K. Barber, MEd , Wisconsin Native American Tobacco Network, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Lac du Flambeau, WI
Anne C. Trinh, MPH , Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center, Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Lac du Flambeau, WI
In this groundbreaking project, the Wisconsin Native American Tobacco Network partnered with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center, the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, Wisconsin schools and all Tribes in Wisconsin to conduct the first comprehensive Wisconsin Native Youth Tobacco Survey (WNYTS). Because of documented higher prevalence and younger initiation ages for smoking among American Indian (AI) youth, our partnership answered the need for culturally specific and appropriate data about tobacco use/abuse. Existing surveillance did not address the AI demographic well, and did not convey an accurate picture of the status of tobacco use in Indian Country. The WNYTS, a culturally sensitive, anonymous, self-administered survey, was pilot tested in spring 2008. The survey was conducted between September 2008 and January 2009, using an approximated census of 6-12 grade AI students representative of the 11 Indian communities in Wisconsin. Preliminary results show that 1,526 surveys were completed by AI students in grades 6-12, representing 30% of enrolled students in that same demographic. Large disparities were found between AI and all-races rates of tobacco abuse and other factors. The partnership proved to be an organic process that gives equal weight to American Indian voices, historical and traditional knowledge, while utilizing the tools of today's scientific technology. This unique partnership proved invaluable to the success of the WNYTS and provides a map to follow for empowering and preserving the health of Indian country for future generations.

Learning Objectives:
Understand how to cultivate partnerships in small unique Tribal communities. Differentiate between traditional tobacco use and commercial tobacco abuse. Identify potential partners/stakeholders for health promotion/disease prevention in tribal communities. Design survey methods that minimize selection bias in rural Tribal communities. Identify some unique challenges to health research in Indian Country.

Keywords: American Indians, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Behavioral Health Epidemiologist for Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center Publication: "Factors associated with cigarette smoking among American Indian youth in Minneapolis-St. Paul"--American Journal of Preventive Medicine Presentations: American Indian Adolescent Secondhand Smoke Exposure; American Indian Community Tobacco Project: A Community-Academic Research Partnership; Exploring the Unraveling Hoop, Tobacco Use, Abuse, and Tobacco Abuse Predictive Factors Among Urban American Indian Youth in Minnesota
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.