245009 Vision care concerns, eye health knowledge, and health information preferences: Focus groups with African American adults (18+)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:10 PM

KiChe Tate, MSA, CHES, CPHA , Strategic Communications and Marketing Division, ICF Macro, Rockville, MD
Lynn Halverson , Strategic Communications and Marketing Division, ICF Macro, Rockville, MD
Christelle Gogue, MPH , Health Education and Social Programs, ICF Macro, Calverton, MD
Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES , National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Eyes disease, a major U.S. public health concern, causes significant disability, loss of productivity, and diminished quality of life for millions. Eye disease prevalence rates remain disproportionately higher among racial and ethnic minorities, specifically affecting African Americans. Currently, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness among African Americans, and they are three times more likely to develop visual impairment due to glaucoma than other ethnic groups. They are also 1.5 times more likely to have diagnosed diabetes, which left uncontrolled, can lead to vision loss and blindness from diabetic eye disease. Through its National Eye Health Education Program, the National Eye Institute provides sight-saving information using culturally appropriate, tailored outreach activities.

To enhance these educational activities, focus groups with African Americans around the country were conducted to better ascertain effective ways to deliver eye health messages and appropriate channels to reach them. This presentation will focus on a representative sample of data collected from 30 focus groups in six cities. Participating African Americans were aged 18 and older and at risk for glaucoma, had self-reported vision loss, had diabetes, or were older adults. Results suggest disparate ranges of eye disease knowledge, concerted efforts to seek eye care despite cost barriers, and a common level of trust and communication between patients and doctors. According to respondents, preferred information channels are family members and the Internet. Additional results to be discussed during the presentation include participant eye health knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs; utilization trends; and outreach recommendations.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the eye health concerns of African American adults 2. Describe health communication preferences of African Americans 3. Provide examples of recommended outreach activities for the African American community

Keywords: Vision Care, Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I moderated the focus groups and participated in the analysis of data.
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.