Cultural adaptation of an evidence-based depression intervention for faith based communities in the rural Arkansas Delta
Recent estimates indicate that 20-30% of African Americans in the Arkansas Delta screen positive for Depression, higher than estimates of 4-10% found in similar studies among African Americans. Devising culturally appropriate, informal ways to address depression in these communities is important, as formal treatment is underutilized. African American churches are promising avenues, because of their historical importance and strong influence.
UAMS academics partnered with two county-wide networks in the Arkansas Delta (Faith Task Forces) dedicated to improving the health of faith communities and the wider communities they serve. Formative research conducted in this population along with established literature suggests that attempts to address depression should: 1) draw on faith beliefs to cope with common stressors (i.e. racism and unemployment) and 2) be offered in community settings by community members instead of clinical settings. Based on these recommendations, we chose Culturally Enhanced Behavioral Activation (CEBA), an evidence-based depression intervention, as our foundation. Academics developed prototypes for the Faith Task Forces to review for cultural appropriateness. Continuous meetings were held to incorporate feedback, reach final decisions on cultural elements, and ensure consistency and appropriate health literacy levels.
The collaborative process resulted in a multi-level faith-based depression intervention, comprising of 8 skill-building group sessions and broader church-sponsored activities that promote social connectedness and depression awareness.
Recommendations to ensure cultural adaptation and community buy-in include: 1) frequent communication, 2) maximizing on various expertise, 3) critical discussion on conflicting cultural elements, and 4) plans for continuous feedback while piloting intervention.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe details of a culturally appropriate, faith-based depression intervention for African Americans in the rural Arkansas Delta. Articulate key elements of the process for transforming an evidence-based, mental health professional-led treatment intervention into a lay health leader-led, faith-based intervention.
Keyword(s): Faith Community, Depression
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in the Health Promotion and Prevention Research Program at UAMS. My research interests focus on addressing mental health disparities by developing community based interventions. Through mentored research experience, I played a critical role in the cultural adaptation of the depression intervention discussed in this abstract. Additionally, I have years of experience facilitating and building community based partnerships for various research projects across the university.
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.