240275 Latinos and political advocacy for cancer control

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:06 PM

Kate Murray, PhD , SDSU/UCSD Cancer Center Comprehensive Partnership, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Lynda L. Barbour, MPH , Border Sierra Region, American Cancer Society, California Division, Inc., San Diego, CA
Luz Garcini, MA , Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University / University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
Alejandra Morlett , Behavioral Health Institute, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Health policy interventions can provide powerful tools for effectively addressing the unrelenting disparities in health that exist across racial and ethnic groups in the United States. The Latino community is one of the fastest growing communities in the United States, yet they have been largely underrepresented in government and advocacy efforts. The current study uses combined quantitative and qualitative data to explore Latino perspectives on barriers to engaging in political advocacy for cancer control. Between April and July 2010, a total of 42 Latino adults participated in 1 of 6 focus groups and completed a brief written questionnaire assessing their experiences and social supports for political advocacy efforts. The participants were predominantly female (81%), with a mean age of 45 years and a wide range of past personal involvement in political advocacy efforts. Three primary themes emerged from the focus group discussions. First, there was a general lack of awareness of political advocacy to address community health concerns. After discussing political advocacy in the focus groups, most participants felt it was not something “ordinary people” could do. Second, there were multiple practical and cultural barriers to engaging in political advocacy, including distrust and fear of political processes and cancer concerns. Third, there is a need to adapt advocacy efforts to emphasize more group-based activities that highlight personal stories from leaders and survivors in the Latino community. Moreover, there is a need to provide education on the links between political advocacy efforts and short- and long-term outcomes highlighting ways that community members can become involved. Limitations of the study and future directions for political advocacy with immigrant communities will also be discussed.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Define political advocacy 2. Describe some of the barriers for Latinos to engaging in political advocacy

Keywords: Advocacy, Latino Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I was involved in all aspects of the research to be presented which focuses political health advocacy, as well as ongoing research and outreach focused on Latino community health.
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.