224121 Parent Teacher Organizations as Partners To Reduce Obesity and Prevent Diabetes in a Hispanic Community

Monday, November 8, 2010

Amy Mahoney Harris, MPH , Abramson Center for the Future of Health, Houston, TX
Lindsey Reichlin , Abramson Center for the Future of Health, Houston, TX
Kara McArthur, MA , Abramson Center for the Future of Health, Houston, TX
Angeles Nava, RN, MS , College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX
Judith McFarlane, RN, DrPH, FAAN , College of Nursing, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX
Background: The high rates of obesity in Houston's Hispanic communities contribute to a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) can increase program effectiveness and sustainability by involving community members in the design and evaluation of interventions. A team of public health specialists used principles of CBPR to reduce the high prevalence of obesity and risk for type 2 diabetes among Hispanic parents of school age children in an inner city community in Houston. This presentation will describe the experiences and lessons learned during the first year of the project. Methods: Based on a community needs assessment and discussions with community members, schools emerged as the best potential partners in reaching obese Hispanic adults at risk of type 2 diabetes. A total of 29 mothers attended 4 community advisory group meetings from which we designed an educational program targeting nutrition, family issues related to food, and diabetes prevention. The program took place during 3 separate educational sessions. Attendance at each session ranged from 22 to 35 participants. Conclusions: School-based groups can form a hub of communication and increase the level of trust between researchers and community members in Hispanic communities. Also relying on trusted partners within the community to deliver program content served to build capacity for sustainable future health projects, because the community could continue to arrange for additional educational sessions without depending on the research team for facilitation.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe Community-As-Partner methods used to enter into a new community. 2) Define coalition building strategies to build relationships with community members working with school-based Parent Teacher Organizations. 3) List strategies to increase attendance and participation at community meetings.

Keywords: Community Participation, Community Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a member of the project team.
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.