198806 Assessing health and mental health care needs among communities with high intra-group diversity: A case study of the application of community-based participatory research methods with Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Colorado

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rochelle A. Amurao, MPH , OMNI Institute, Denver, CO
Gabriela Torres, BA , OMNI Institute, Denver, CO
Suzanne Kennedy Leahy, PhD , OMNI Institute, Denver, CO
Pallavi Visvanathan, MA , OMNI Institute, Denver, CO
Ivy Hontz, MA , Asian Pacific Development Center, Aurora, CO
Though Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing and most diverse minority group in Colorado, there is a small but growing body of knowledge about how their cultural beliefs and practices impact health and mental health care utilization. While community-based participatory research methods call for diverse stakeholder involvement in all phases of research, there are few accounts of stakeholder participation in data collection and interpretation within settings with high intra-group diversity. We present a case study of collaboration between the Asian Pacific Development Center and researchers at OMNI Institute to conduct a needs assessment informing the creation of a culturally responsive health care delivery system. This case serves as an example of how community members can be heavily involved in data collection and data interpretation efforts to inform and refine health care delivery systems aimed at serving a diverse AAPI population. Trained peer researchers conducted focus groups in their communities to determine barriers to health care utilization, family/community responses to mental health issues, tensions between the role of traditional and Western medicine, and interactions with Western health care providers. Community member participation in data collection has resulted in enriched findings, which we will present in greater depth. Further, this methodology has increased discussions about health among local AAPIs, elevated community capacity for utilizing data, and brought greater focus to the needs assessment process in planning health care delivery systems. These methods serve as a model for future efforts to address health disparities among diverse and underserved populations.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how community members can increase their involvement in the research process. 2. Discuss how health disparities can be addressed in communities with high intra-group diversity.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Director of Programs for the Asian Pacific Development Center for over 12 years. I possess a Masters in Counseling Psychology.
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.