245312 Health promotion and Black women: Enacting trust from the chair

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:50 PM

Kamila Alexander, MSN, MPH , Center for Health Equity Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Health intervention delivery by beauty salon stylists is an emerging public health strategy to promote wellness behaviors among Black women. Beauty salons are deemed promising places to perform health interventions because: stylists are trusted community members; clients frequently visit stylists; and stylists understand clients' family context and history. However, research is limited about the specific nature of relationships between stylists and Black women clients. Therefore, to inform health intervention prevention design in community settings, this ethnographic study explored development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships in beauty salons. Methods: Over six months, the researcher performed an ethnographic investigation which employed purposeful sampling and participant-observation techniques in three beauty salons. Fourteen in-depth interviews were conducted with clients (n = 10) and stylists (n = 4). Field note, memo, and interview data were managed and analyzed using Nvivo8. Results: Trust emerged as a key component to relationship-building. Clients and stylists enacted trust beyond initial assessment of technical skill and hair style preferences. They created and maintained trust through four processes: revealing personal vulnerabilities; negotiating subject boundaries; nurturing emotional bonds; and asserting professional credibility. Trust is therefore co-constructed and mutually understood in these relationships. Discussion: Reciprocal commitments by stylists and clients nurture trust in the beauty salon, which facilitates an environment for health information delivery. This study informs public health practice because it reveals the multidimensionality of trust when promoting well-being among Black women. Practitioners aiming to understand trust-building in Black communities can develop and test health promotion interventions in varied environments.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss the characteristics of social interactions in nontraditional settings to promote health intervention delivery. 2) Evaluate the implications of understanding these relationships to the implementation of health prevention interventions.

Keywords: Health Promotion, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I performed this research as a student researcher during my PhD program.
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.