228934 Practical Lessons Learned from Adaptation Research with at-risk African-American Young Women: Challenges, Successes and Next Steps

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rachel Middlesteadt Ellerson, BS , Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Interventions, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Felicia A. Browne, MPH, CHES , Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Interventions, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Wendee M. Wechsberg, PhD , Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Interventions, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Issues: As HIV continues to disproportionately affect young African-American women compared to their counterparts, it is imperative that HIV prevention interventions are adapted for this population. An important aspect of this adaptation process is to help determine the best ways to reach and retain this target population for interventions. There are important practical issues to overcome when reaching targeted inner-city youth. Description: Formative methodology was used over a year including focus groups, in-depth interviews and pilot tests with sexually-active African-American female adolescents who had dropped out of school to adapt a “best-evidence” gender-focused HIV behavioral prevention intervention. The goal was to address risks of substance use, sexual behavior and violence, and how best to recruit and retain young women for an HIV prevention intervention. A teen advisory board also added important perspective. Lessons Learned: Lessons learned included: the best days and times for study marketing and scheduling appointments; the importance of incentive types (e.g., gift cards to specific stores that are accessible via public transportation); and the transportation and childcare issues, as many were without reliable transportation, and had children and/or were currently pregnant. Additionally, retaining a few of the participants for the several-session intervention was a challenge. Recommendations: Adaptation activities resulted in a plethora of invaluable lessons that have been integrated into the full CDC-funded study for successful recruitment and retention with outreach methodology. Young African-American women are a vulnerable population at-risk for STIs and HIV, so it is important to reach them through appropriate and successful strategies.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.) Participants will be able to identify issues to reaching adolescents at risk for STIs and HIV. 2.) Participants will be able to identify practical lessons when trying to engage and retain young African American females in an intervention.

Keywords: Adolescents, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the field coordinator of this project, I assisted the PI in the coordination of these study activities.
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.