264600 Methods to effectively collect data to assess community health concerns and perceptions in a rural setting

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 5:10 PM - 5:30 PM

Shaena Rouse, MPH , Office of Public Health Practice, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Tramaine Paul, MPH , Office of Public Health Practice, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Lillian U. Smith, DrPH, MPH, CHES , Director, Office of Public Health Practice and SC Public Health Consortium, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Barbara Grice, MSPH, MCHES , Department of Health and Environmental Control, Orangeburg, SC
Grassroots participatory data collection is an important component for coalitions to address and determine community health status. South Carolina's Eat Smart, Move More Orangeburg County (ESMMOC) Coalition was developed to promote healthy eating and active living within this rural, medically underserved community. A multitude of partnerships were formed throughout Orangeburg County with local businesses and community leaders to perform grassroots efforts for data collection to identify community health concerns and health behavior perceptions. The Coalition conducted a community assessment using the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) model to analyze the capacity of the community to support a healthier lifestyle. A convenience sample was used to distribute the 14-item health survey questionnaire throughout Orangeburg County and surrounding areas; descriptive statistics were used for analysis. Participants (n = 904) consisted of 69.6% African-American, 26.5% Caucasian and 1.3% Hispanic/Latino, and 0.6% Native American; which is an accurate representation of the racial makeup of Orangeburg County. Here we discuss the achievements of diverse partnerships formed and lessons learned in planning this data collection project. We also discuss barriers, the need for strategic data collection methods, and the importance of MAPP in a rural county where equal representation is a challenge due to small populations. Conducting a community assessment effectively can influence a coalitions' strategic planning process as well as improve the coalitions' understanding of community needs. Reporting methodology and process of grassroots data collection can assist in replication of effective practices within similar communities.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the important factors to consider when implementing grassroots participatory data collection

Keywords: Community Capacity, Data Collection

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Representing the Office of Public Health Practice at the University of South Carolina, I had the role of Project/Task Manager for the Community Assessment project/collaboration with Eat Smart Move More.
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.