266079 Using Community Based Participatory Research to Strengthen the Health of Rural, Low-Income Families

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Mili Duggal, MPH, PGDHM , Department of Family Science, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Bonnie Braun, PhD , Department of Family Science, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Elizabeth Maring, PhD , Department of Family Science, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
Hoda Sana, MPH , Department of Family Science, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 emphasized prevention. Rural families, however, experience limited availability and access to preventive health services. Health disparities are particularly challenging for economically vulnerable rural families who also tend to be less-than-fully health literate and experience poorer health than their urban counterparts. One tactic to reduce disparities is to involve the targeted population and promote a health-conducive environment where information is sensitive to both health literacy and culture. We chose to work with rural, low-income mothers for two years to determine the elements of health messages and channels of communication that resonated with them because mothers are key family health decision-makers. Empowerment theory was used to engage mothers in: identifying components of core health messages; creation of messages, testing of message delivery and responding to messages; reviewing results; and making recommendations. We conducted focus groups in 6 states and interviews in 8 which produced preferences for content, style and channel. Another round of interviews, using preferred channels, tested the resulting physical health, dental health, food security and health insurance messages. Underway are interviews with professionals who serve this population to ascertain their perspectives regarding mothers' preferences. We will also conduct focus groups with a sample of mothers and stakeholders to review findings and generate recommendations for future health messages for rural, low-income mothers. We believe that this community-based participatory research study will increase the likelihood that the research-based messages will be effectively communicated, leading to positive health outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the kind of health messages and dissemination channels that appeal to rural, low-income mothers. Identify the facts that help and hinder the rural, low-income mothers to act on the health messages in their daily lives. Describe the ways in which community stakeholders can modify the health information in order to be more effective.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a Graduate Research Assistant on the 2 grants that have focused on developing and testing Core Health Messages and channels of communication with rural, low-income mothers. I have assisted in planning and implementation of the program and have taken a lead on data analysis and evaluation. Being with the project from its inception I am qualified to discuss it among peers and senior colleagues and share my knowledge about the same.
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.