244624 Inter-organizational relationships in rural smoke-free policy: A social network analysis

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:24 PM

Ganna Kostygina, PhD , Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Ellen J. Hahn, PhD, RN , Tobacco Research and Prevention Program, University of Kentucky College of Nursing and College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
Mary Kay Rayens, PhD , College of Nursing and College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
While the importance of inter-organizational partnerships in policy advocacy is recognized, there is little information about how these systems are structured. Network analysis was used to examine inter-organizational partnerships related to smoke-free policy development over time in 30 rural Kentucky communities. A network of 30 community coalitions (22 treatment and 8 control communities) and 29 individual and organizational partners was assessed through annual key informant interviews over a 3-year period. Partnership ties, support ties, and resource sharing ties were examined. The study was part of a five-year RCT to test the effects of a tailored, stage-based intervention on community readiness and policy outcomes. Network density and degree centrality were assessed. Density scores were consistently higher in Year 3 than in Year 1 for the treatment networks but not for those in control communities. A greater increase in average degree centrality was observed in the treatment group than in the controls. The results suggest that the intervention may have been effective in strengthening inter-organizational tobacco control networks in rural communities. These findings have both applied and theoretical implications. Community readiness interventions hold promise in building effective inter-organizational relationships to leverage resources for policy development in rural communities. Longitudinal network analysis can be used as an indicator of improvement in community capacity and readiness for policy change.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the structure and strength of inter-organizational partnerships related to smoke-free policy development using social network analysis

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Network Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a postdoctoral scholar with training and expertise in design and evaluation of smoke-free policy promotion programs.
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.