270678 Genetic Services and Literacy in Latino Communities: A Community Conversation Addressing Maternal and Child Health Needs

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Alejandra J. Gepp, MA , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Vicky Cardoza, MPH , Institute for Hispanic Health, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Delia Pompa, MA , Programs, National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC
Belen Hurle, PhD , Education and Community Involvement Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Maria Gomez, RN, MPH , President/CEO, Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc., Washington, DC
Genomic health literacy and access to maternal and child genetic health services can empower patients to make informed decisions about their health and that of their children. Research demonstrates that some of the leading causes of death among Latinos in the United States have or may have a genetic component. However, genomic health literacy of the Latino community, as well as their participation in genomic health services for health promotion and disease prevention, has lagged compared to other groups in the mainstream population.

To address this need, the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Institute for Hispanic Health, in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute, and an NCLR Affiliate, Mary's Center, conducted the Community Conversation Model One project to assess knowledge, attitudes, and behavior around maternal and child genetic health and genetic health services among Latinos and their health care providers in Washington, DC. Data analysis from focus groups and in-depth interviews suggest that Latinos in underserved communities have little or no exposure to genetic health services, procedures, and benefits during and after pregnancy. When services were received, parents perceived the information as confusing and worrisome.

Although providers reported they understood the importance of genetic health services, they stated they were unable to meet their patients' needs for genetic health care due to limited time, lack of culturally competent and linguistically appropriate educational resources, and low capacity to communicate genetic health knowledge. NCLR will present experiences in the project's processes and outcomes with special emphasis on community involvement.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe approaches to increase the Latino community’s involvement in addressing maternal and child genomic health needs. 2. Assess the interests and concerns of the Hispanic community and health care providers related to genomics and maternal and child health. 3. Discuss opportunities by which to increase genomic literacy among Latinos.

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a seasoned professional with a proven track record conducting quantitative and qualitative studies, developing and implementing public health initiatives, and leading advocacy efforts to improve the lives of impoverished communities. This includes, diabetes and genetics education, HIV prevention, and mental health, to name a few.
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.