142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Impact of Cultural Beliefs on Public Health Service Utilization among African Americans

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Tiffany Valentin, M.P.H. , Office of Diversity Inclusion, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
Objective: To explore low-income African American motivations for managing diabetes and depression. 

Introduction: Understanding how to improve self-care habits for persons diagnosed with diabetes and depression remain unclear. Consumer beliefs may affect how public health professionals recommend healthier behavioral habits. Few studies focus on how low-income African Americans manage chronic conditions.

Methods: Semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 42 African American consumers receiving care from a California health clinic. All interviews were audio-taped and averaged one hour.  Audio files were transcribed and thematically analyzed to identify relevant themes using Atlas.ti 7.

Results: Participant age averaged 53 years and earned about $9500 annually. Most consumers earned a high school diploma and received Medicaid (54.8%). Consumers with depression managed their condition by seeking therapeutic treatment, utilizing social support networks, engaging in physical activity and taking medications under medical direction. Consumers with diabetes and both conditions (comorbidity) additionally monitored their diet. For all, it was culturally meaningful to integrate spirituality and religion into self-management practices. Most consumers reported being unable to consume culturally relevant foods as barriers to consistent self-management habits.

Conclusion: Understanding African American cultural beliefs about self-management activities will enable health practitioners to tailor management plans. Health practitioners will need to reinforce healthy behaviors that align with available economic consumer resources. Spirituality and religion should be incorporated into lifestyle interventions for African Americans.

Implications: Public health practitioners need to be more mindful of cultually competent practices when implementing self-management interventions.

Student Role: Interviewer training; Data collection; Data analysis; Manuscript writing

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify self-management practices utilized by African American consumers with diabetes, depression and both conditions (comorbidity). Develop a culturally relevant management plan for African American consumers with diabetes, depression and both conditions (comorbidity).

Keyword(s): Diabetes, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a M.P.H. candidate interning at the New York State Department of Health.
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.

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