230680 Tribal affiliations, health conceptions and preventive health care strategies: Participatory action research with Francophone African immigrant and refugee women

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Sharon D. Morrison, PhD, MSPH , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Komal Desai, BS , Department of Cemistry and Biochemistry, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Amina Tahirou, BS , United African Sisters of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
United African Sisters of North Carolina (UASNC) is a community-based organization that was created in 2009. Its mission is to create a framework within which immigrant and refugee women from English-speaking and Francophone Africa are free to meet each other, provide mutual support and encourage empowerment. Additionally the organization helps women to “understand their new home and to help them learn how to access services and opportunities that are available to them.” Facilitated by funding from the University of North Carolina, we developed a collaborative project with UASNC to examine how tribal affiliations and traditions influence current health conceptualizations and preventive health care practice among African immigrant and refugee women living in housing communities in Greensboro, North Carolina. The project was guided by the participatory action research (PAR) model. With guidance from UASNC executive members we developed and implemented language appropriate interview protocols to engage women in a process of describing their tribal backgrounds, concept of health and sickness, traditional strategies for preventive health care, familiarity and experience with U.S. health care system and likelihood of accessing preventive health care for self and family. Analysis of the interviews involved an iterative process in which UASNC collaborators and women interviewees reviewed and verified key themes that emerged. This presentation will highlight thematic findings and their theoretical and practical significance to UASNC's “next steps” in addressing immigrant and refugee women's empowerment for successful health promotion and disease prevention. We will also discuss lessons learned from utilizing the PAR model.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the presentation participants will be able to (a) describe at least two ways tribal affiliations and traditions influence African immigrant and refugee women’s conceptions of health and preventive health care practice, (b) list at least two important considerations when using the PAR model for public health research with African immigrant and refugee women

Keywords: Immigrant Women, Primary Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present as I am a faculty member and researcher whose teaching and research area includes immigrant and refugee health promotion.
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.