262554 Applying Community-Based Participatory Research in Identifying a Cultural Consensus Model About Cancer in an American Indian Community

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cynthia Claus, PhD, MPH , Office of Health Programs, Indian Health Service, Phoenix Area, Phoenix, AZ
Native American communities face an ongoing challenge of effectively addressing cancer health disparities, as well as environmental racism issues that may compound these inequities. This study identified the shared cultural knowledge and beliefs about cancer in an American Indian community utilizing a cultural consensus method, an approach that combines qualitative and quantitative data. A community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was applied at all stages of the study. The three phases of research that were undertaken included: 1) ethnographic interviews, 2) ranking of themes, 3) pile sorts, and 4) a community survey. The cultural consensus method has not been utilized to date in identifying the collective cultural beliefs about cancer prevention, treatment or survivorship in a Native American community. Its use represents a methodological step forward in two areas: 1) the traditional ethnographic inferences used in identifying and defining cultural meaning as it relates to health can be tested more rigorously than in the past, and 2) it addresses the challenge of providing reliable results based on a small number of community consultants. This is especially significant when working with smaller tribal/cultural groups where the small sample size has led to questions concerning the reliability and validity of health-related research. Results showed that the key consultants shared strong agreement or consensus on a cultural model regarding the importance of environmental and lifestyle causes of cancer. Identifying cultural beliefs and models regarding cancer could contribute to the effective development of culturally responsive cancer prevention education and treatment programs.

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

Learning Objectives:
1) Define cultural consensus theory. 2) Describe the four phases of qualitative and quantitative methods utilized in identifying a cultural consensus model of cancer. 3) Identify the principles of community-based participatory research that were applied in the study. 4) Discuss the importance of environmental and lifestyle factors that contributed to the identified cultural consensus model.

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, Native Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal investigator of several privately and federally funded grants focusing on cancer health disparities among American Indian populations. Among my scientific/research interests have been the application of community-based research in developing cultural responsive approaches to addressing health disparities in Native American communities, including interventions that promote health education and health promotion and increase access to care/treatment.
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.