226905 Utilizing non-traditional/non-health focused settings to impact women's health behaviors: Quilting groups and guilds

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vicki Ebin, MSPH, PhD , Health Sciences Department, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA
There has been a steady increase in the number of women diagnosed in the early stages of breast cancer (NCI, 2008). Social and peer influences as behavioral determinants can promote healthy practices or encourage risky behaviors among adults and adolescents (Festinger, 1954, 1957; Allport, 1962; Bandura, 1986). Social networks and naturally forming groups are possible venues of influencing health promoting behaviors. These networks and social systems are a source of disseminating health promoting information. There has been little research on utilizing non-traditional/non-health focused settings to impact women's health behaviors. Naturally forming social network venues, such as the traditional quilting guilds, are a local as well as a national source of social connection. These guilds are a source of integration across generations, social class, ethnicity, as well as history and culture. Results: Preliminary findings of qualitative interviews with women quilters support the perceived benefit of on mental and social health. These findings point to the impact of quilting on depressive affect and the improvement of mental health. Respondents also report the benefit of making objects for others as a means of helping friends, family or ill strangers. Discussion: The discussion will focus on the use of a traditionally women-focused activity to address health issues and benefits. Additionally, the benefit of an existing social network as a means of disseminating health information and implications to public health will be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify methods of disseminating health information within a non-traditional setting. 2. Assess the possible utility of non-traditional settings as a focus of health promoting interventions.

Keywords: Women's Health, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a faculty member in an MPH Community Health Education program. I conducted this research and analyzed the interviews.
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.