200508 Relationship interdependence and social support among men of color: Implications for male lay health advisor programs

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:15 AM

Anh N. Tran, PhD, MPH , Division of Community Health, Dept of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Megan Lewis, PhD , Research Triangle Institute International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Guadalupe Ayala, PhD, MPH , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Eugenia Eng, MPH, DrPH , Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Men of color are among the most neglected populations in the United States, experiencing the poorest health outcomes and largest healthcare barriers. Nonetheless, there is lack of research and understanding about the functional aspects of helping relationships between men, especially how they influence each other's health behaviors. This study examined the effects of relationship interdependence properties between male lay health advisors (LHA) and the men they helped (Confidants) using baseline and 6-month follow-up data from a male LHA intervention study. Guided by Interdependence Theory, we examined the effects of (a) relationship interdependence and (b) LHA healthcare utilization on the patterns of Confidant healthcare utilization. Healthcare utilization referred to healthcare visits for routine or screening/diagnostic exam in past six months. Relationship interdependence referred to relationship diversity, length, interaction frequency, and closeness. The study sample included 227 African-American and Latino men in the Southeast United States. We used multilevel modeling techniques to analyze the data. Three descriptors, Confidant age, income and baseline healthcare visits (p<.05), had a significant positive association with Confidant healthcare visits. A significant interaction effect was found between LHA healthcare utilization and Confidant perceived closeness with LHA (p<.05). The higher the closeness between Confidants and LHAs, the stronger the magnitude of the positive effect between LHA and Confidant healthcare utilization. These results provide support for examining further the impact of LHA characteristics and relationship interdependence properties on Confidant health behaviors. This information can assist in determining what constitutes the most efficacious Confidant-LHA dyad profile for improving Confidant health outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe at least three relationship interdependence characteristics to consider which might impact the influence between male lay health advisors and their peers. 2. Discuss role of social support among men of color.

Keywords: Male Health, Lay Health Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principle investigator for this 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.