Farmers’ markets have the potential to improve the health of
underserved communities, shape people’s perceptions, values, and
behaviors about healthy eating, and serve as a social space for both community
members and vendors. This study explored the influence of health care provider
communication and role modeling for diabetic patients within the context of a
farmers’ market located at a federally qualified health center (FQHC).
Although provider communication about diet decreased over time, communication
strategies included: providing patients with “prescriptions” and
vouchers for market purchases; educating patients about diet; and modeling
healthy purchases. Data from patient interviews and provider surveys revealed
that patients enjoyed social aspects of the market including interactions with
their health care provider, and providers distributed prescriptions and vouchers
to patients, shopped at the market, and believed the market had potential to
improve the health of FHQC staff and patients. Provider modeling of healthy
behaviors may influence patients’ food-related perceptions and dietary
federally qualified health center; farmers’ market; diabetes; obesity prevention; patient-provider communication; communication intervention
Prostate cancer (PrCA) is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer among men. African-American (AA) men in South Carolina have a PrCA death rate 150% higher than that of European-American (EA) men. This in-depth qualitative research explored AA men’s and women’s current practices, barriers, and recommended strategies for PrCA communication. A purposive sample of 43 AA men and 38 AA spouses/female relatives participated in focus groups (11 male groups; 11 female groups). A 19-item discussion guide was developed. Coding and analyses were driven by the data; recurrent themes within and across groups were examined. Findings revealed AA men and women agreed on key barriers to discussing PrCA; however, they had differing perspectives on which of these were most important. Findings indicate that including AA women in PrCA research and education is needed to address barriers preventing AA men from effectively communicating about PrCA risk and screening with family and healthcare providers.
focus groups; cancer screening; health communication; social support; decision making
Program planners work with promotoras (the Spanish term for female community health workers) to reduce health disparities among underserved populations. Based on the Role-Outcomes Linkage Evaluation Model for Community Health Workers (ROLES) conceptual model, we explored how program planners conceptualized the promotora role and the approaches and strategies they used to recruit, select, and sustain promotoras.
We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews with a purposive convenience sample of 24 program planners, program coordinators, promotora recruiters, research principal investigators, and other individuals who worked closely with promotoras on United States-based health programs for Hispanic women (ages 18 and older).
Planners conceptualized the promotora role based on their personal experiences and their understanding of the underlying philosophical tenets of the promotora approach. Recruitment and selection methods reflected planners’ conceptualizations and experiences of promotoras as paid staff or volunteers. Participants described a variety of program planning and implementation methods. They focused on sustainability of the programs, the intended health behavior changes or activities, and the individual promotoras.
To strengthen health programs employing the promotora delivery model, job descriptions should delineate role expectations and boundaries and better guide promotora evaluations. We suggest including additional components such as information on funding sources, program type and delivery, and sustainability outcomes to enhance the ROLES conceptual model. The expanded model can be used to guide program planners in the planning, implementing, and evaluating of promotora health programs.
Training is an essential component of health programs that incorporate promotoras de salud (the Spanish term for community health workers) in the delivery of health education and behavioral interventions to Hispanics. During training sessions, promotoras are exposed to information and skill-building activities they need to implement the health programs. This analysis was one component of a broader study which explored program planners' approaches to recruiting and training promotoras to deliver and sustain health promotion programs for Hispanic women. The purpose of this study was to examine promotora-curriculum and training processes used to prepare promotoras to deliver health programs. The authors examined transcripts of 12 in-depth interviews with program planners and conducted a content analysis of seven different training materials used in their respective promotora programs. Interview themes and narratives included program planners' varying conceptualizations of promotora-training, including their personal definitions of “training the trainer,” the practice of training a cadre of promotoras before selecting those best fit for the program, and the importance of providing goal-directed, in-depth training and supervision for promotoras. The content analysis revealed a variety of strategies used to make the training materials interactive and culturally competent. Study implications describe the importance of planners' provision of ongoing, goal-directed, and supervised training using both appropriate language and interactive methods to engage and teach promotoras.
community health workers; curriculum; cultural competence; interviews; content analysis
Pictorial health warning labels on cigarette packaging have been proposed for the U.S., but their potential influences among populations that suffer tobacco-related health disparities are unknown.
To evaluate pictorial health warning labels, including moderation of their influences by health literacy and race.
From July 2011 to January 2012, field experiments were conducted with 981 adult smokers who were randomized to control (i.e., text-only labels, n=207) and experimental conditions (i.e., pictorial labels, n=774). The experimental condition systematically varied health warning label stimuli by health topic and image type. Linear mixed effects (LME) models estimated the influence of health warning label characteristics and participant characteristics on label ratings. Data were analyzed from January 2012 to April 2012.
Compared to text-only warning labels, pictorial warning labels were rated as more personally relevant (5.7 vs 6.8, p<0.001) and effective (5.4 vs 6.8, p<0.001), and as more credible, but only among participants with low health literacy (7.6 vs 8.2, p<0.001). Within the experimental condition, pictorial health warning labels with graphic imagery had significantly higher ratings of credibility, personal relevance, and effectiveness than imagery of human suffering and symbolic imagery. Significant interactions indicated that labels with graphic imagery produced minimal differences in ratings across racial groups and levels of health literacy, whereas other imagery produced greater group differences.
Pictorial health warning labels with graphic images have the most-pronounced short-term impacts on adult smokers, including smokers from groups that have in the past been hard to reach.
The use of promotoras de salud is an increasingly widespread delivery approach for community-based health education and promotion programs targeting obesity-related lifestyle behaviors for Hispanic populations. Addressing a gap in the literature, this research examined the sustainability of promotora-led initiatives from the perspectives of those who plan, implement, and evaluate these programs. We conducted 24 in-depth interviews with program planners representing 22 promotora programs focused on Hispanic women’s health in ten states. Findings illustrated program planners’ opinions regarding the components, logistics, and barriers to promotora program sustainability. Several participants challenged the notion of promotora program sustainability by reframing the issue as promoting individual promotoras’ well-being and social mobility rather than maintaining their role in the program over time. Implications for community health planning, management, and policy include developing sustainability strategies during program planning stages and implementation of policies to more effectively integrate promotoras into existing healthcare systems at local, state, and national levels.
While African Americans are at significantly higher risk for developing certain cancers, they also have low rates of participation in cancer research, particularly clinical trials. This study assessed both African American men’s and African American women’s (1) knowledge of and participation in cancer-related clinical research and (2) barriers to and motivations for participating in clinical research. Data were collected from a total of 81 participants. Phase I of this research consisted of qualitative focus groups (all 81 participants). Phase II included quantitative pre/post survey data from an education program (56 participants). Findings from the study revealed that African American men and women had poor knowledge about clinical trials and the informed consent process, limited experience in participating in clinical trials, and they feared and mistrusted cancer research. Participants identified incentives, assurance of safety, knowledge and awareness, and benefiting others as motivators to participate in clinical trials research.
African Americans; clinical trials; cancer research; participation; barriers; motivators
Photovoice is a community-based participatory research method that researchers have used to identify and address individual and community health needs. We developed an abbreviated photovoice project to serve as a supplement to a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded pilot study focusing on prostate cancer (PrCA) that was set in a faith-based African-American community in South Carolina. We used photovoice for three reasons: (1) to enhance communication between study participants and researchers; (2) to empower African-American men and women to examine their health decisions through photographs; and 3) to better understand how participants from this community make health-related decisions. The 15 individuals participating in the photovoice project were asked to photograph aspects of their community that informed their health-related decisions. Participants provided written and oral narratives to describe the images in a small sample of photographs. Four primary themes emerged in participants’ photographs and narratives: 1) food choices; 2) physical activity practices; 3) community environment and access to care; and 4) influences of spirituality and nature on health. Although written and audio-recorded narratives were similar in content, the audio-recorded responses were more descriptive and emotional. Results suggest that incorporating audio-recorded narratives in community photovoice presentations may have a greater impact than written narratives on health promotion and decision-making and policy-makers due to an increased level of detail and personalization. In conclusion, photovoice strengthened the parent study and empowered participants by making them more aware of factors influencing their health decisions.
community-based participatory research; African American; health decision making; photography; qualitative analysis
The South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (SC-CPCRN) implemented the Community Health Intervention Program (CHIP) mini-grants initiative to address cancer-related health disparities and reduce the cancer burden among high-risk populations across the state. The mini-grants project implemented evidence-based health interventions tailored to the specific needs of each community.
To support the SC-CPCRN’s goals of moving toward greater dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs in the community to improve public health, prevent disease, and reduce the cancer burden.
Three community-based organizations were awarded $10,000 each to implement one of the National Cancer Institute’s evidence-based interventions. Each group had 12 months to complete their project. SC-CPCRN investigators and staff provided guidance, oversight, and technical assistance for each project. Grantees provided regular updates and reports to their SC-CPCRN liaisons to capture vital evaluation information.
The intended CHIP mini-grant target population reach was projected to be up to 880 participants combined. Actual combined reach of the three projects reported upon completion totaled 1,072 individuals. The majority of CHIP participants were African-American females. Participants ranged in age from 19 to 81 years. Evaluation results showed an increase in physical activity, dietary improvements, and screening participation.
The success of the initiative was the result of a strong community-university partnership built on trust. Active two-way communication and an honest open dialogue created an atmosphere for collaboration. Communities were highly motivated. All team members shared a common goal of reducing cancer-related health disparities and building greater public health capacity across the state.
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) initiatives such as the National Cancer Institute’s Community Networks Program (CNP) (2005–2010) often emphasize training of junior investigators from underrepresented backgrounds to address health disparities. From July to October 2010, a convenience sample of 80 participants from the 25 CNP national sites completed our 45-item, web-based survey on the training and mentoring of junior investigators. This study assessed the academic productivity and CBPR-related experiences of the CNP junior investigators (n=37). Those from underrepresented backgrounds reported giving more presentations in non-academic settings (9 vs. 4 in last 5 years, p=0.01), having more co-authored publications (8 vs. 3 in last 5 years, p=0.01), and spending more time on CBPR-related activities than their non-underrepresented counterparts. Regardless of background, junior investigators shared similar levels of satisfaction with their mentors and CBPR experiences. This study provides support for the success of the CNP’s training program, especially effort directed at underrepresented investigators.
The South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, in partnership with the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), aims to promote evidence-based cancer interventions in community-based primary care settings. Partnership activities include (1) examining FQHCs’ readiness and capacity for conducting research, (2) developing a cancer-focused data sharing network, and (3) integrating a farmers’ market within an FQHC. These activities identify unique opportunities for public health and primary care collaborations.
Community health centers; Evidence-based cancer interventions
African American men report poorer health than do White men and have significantly greater odds for developing chronic diseases partly because of limited physical activity. Understanding how to encourage healthy behaviors among African American men will be critical in the development of effective physical activity messages and programs. Guided by principles of cultural sensitivity and social marketing, this research examined middle-aged and older African American men’s recommended strategies for promoting physical activity to African American men of their age. The authors report results from. 49 interviews conducted with middle-aged (45–64 years) and older (65–84 years) African American men in South Carolina. Four groups of African American men were recruited; middle-aged active men (n = 17), middle-aged inactive men (n = 12), older active men (n = 10), older inactive men (n = 10). Themes related to marketing and recruitment strategies, message content, and spokesperson characteristics emerged and differed by age and physical activity level. Recommended marketing strategies included word of mouth; use of mass media; partnering with churches, businesses, and fraternities; strategic placement of messages; culturally appropriate message framing; and careful attention to selection of program spokespersons. Findings will help in the marketing, design, implementation, and evaluation of culturally appropriate interventions to encourage physical activity among middle-aged and older African American men in the South.
Prostate cancer (PrCA) is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer among men. PrCA mortality in African-American (AA) men in South Carolina is ~50% higher than for AAs in the U.S as a whole. AA men also have low rates of participation in cancer research. This paper describes partnership development and recruitment efforts of a Community-Academic-Clinical research team for a PrCA education intervention with AA men and women that was designed to address the discordance between high rates of PrCA mortality and limited participation in cancer research. Guided by Vesey's framework on recruitment and retention of minority groups in research, recruitment strategies were selected and implemented following multiple brainstorming sessions with partners having established community relationships. Based on findings from these sessions culturally appropriate strategies are recommended for recruiting AA men and women for PrCA education research. Community-based research recruitment challenges and lessons learned are presented.
African-American men and women; Community-based participatory research; Research partnerships; Recruitment; Cancer communication; Multi-media
To facilitate national efforts to maintain cognitive health through public health practice, the Healthy Brain Initiative recommended examining diverse groups to identify stakeholder perspectives on cognitive health. In response, the Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coordinated projects to document the perspectives of older adults, caregivers of people with dementia, and primary care providers (PCPs) on maintaining cognitive health. Our objective was to describe PCPs’ perceptions and practices regarding cognitive health.
HAN researchers conducted 10 focus groups and 3 interviews with physicians (N = 28) and advanced practice providers (N = 21) in Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina from June 2007 to November 2008. Data were transcribed and coded axially.
PCPs reported addressing cognitive health with patients only indirectly in the context of physical health or in response to observed functional changes and patient or family requests. Some providers felt evidence on the efficacy of preventive strategies for cognitive health was insufficient, but many reported suggesting activities such as games and social interaction when queried by patients. PCPs identified barriers to talking with patients about cognitive health such as lack of time and patient reactions to recommendations.
Communicating new evidence on cognitive health and engaging older adults in making lasting lifestyle changes recommended by PCPs and others may be practical ways in which public health practitioners can partner with PCPs to address cognitive health in health care settings.
Growing evidence suggests that physical activity, healthy diets, and social engagement may promote cognitive health. Popular media helps establish the public health agenda. In this study, we describe articles about cognitive health in top-circulating women's and men's magazines.
To identify articles on cognitive health, we manually searched all pages of 4 top-circulating women's magazines and 4 top-circulating men's magazines published in 2006 and 2007 to identify articles on cognitive health. We examined article volume, narrative and illustrative content, information sources, and contact resources.
Women's magazines had 27 cognitive health articles (5.32/1,000 pages), and men's magazines had 26 (5.26/1,000 pages). Diet was the primary focus (>75% of content) in 30% of articles in women's magazines and 27% of men's magazines. Vitamins/supplements were the focus of 15% of articles in men's magazines and 11% in women's magazines. Articles mentioned physical activity, cognitive activity, and social interaction, although these subjects were rarely the focus. Articles focused more on prevention than treatment. Topics were primarily "staying sharp," memory, and Alzheimer's disease. Colleges/universities were most often cited as sources; contacts for further information were rare. Most articles were illustrated.
Although the volume of cognitive health articles was similar in the magazines, content differed. More articles in men's magazines discussed multiple chronic conditions (eg, Alzheimer's disease), whereas more in women's magazines discussed memory. Including more articles that focus on physical activity and direct readers to credible resources could enhance the quality of cognitive health communication in the popular media.
This paper describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot recycling campaign. The goal of the campaign was to increase people’s awareness and knowledge about recycling and the link between a healthy environment and the public’s health. A total of 258 individuals attended campaign week events and completed an initial survey. Results identified inconvenience of recycling facility locations as a key barrier to recycling. Post-campaign survey results revealed increased recycling of paper, plastic, glass, and cans (p < 0.05). The majority of participants “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that as a result of campaign messages they had greater awareness about recycling (88.4%) and their recycling efforts increased (61.6%).
recycling; environment; health communication; public health
Older men are at increased risk for prostate cancer. As seniors turn to the Internet for cancer information, it is important that the resources they locate about lifestyle behaviors and screening are culturally appropriate and easy to understand. This study was a comprehensive analysis of prostate cancer risk as portrayed on the Internet with assessment of content readability and cultural sensitivity.
We selected Web sites about prostate cancer risk and prevention by comparing common sites across three top-rated search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and MSN). A total of 70 Web sites on prostate cancer containing a Web page on risk factors or prevention or both for racial and ethnic populations were included. We assessed readability of one page per Web site using Simple Measure of Gobbledygook (SMOG), Flesch-Kincaid (FK), and Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) measures. Cultural sensitivity of the Web page was evaluated using the Cultural Sensitivity Assessment Tool (CSAT) and questions from a cultural sensitivity checklist.
Mean readability of Web pages was Grade 12.90 (high school graduate level) using SMOG and Grade 11.20 according to FK. Mean FRE was 45.04 (fairly difficult to read). The mean CSAT score was 2.78 and classified as culturally sensitive. Of the 36 Web pages considered culturally sensitive (CSAT >2.50), 75% did not portray images of representative racial or ethnic individuals as intended readers or as being at high risk for prostate cancer. Older adults and seniors were identified as intended readers on 73% of Web pages.
Online cancer resources are targeting appropriate age groups (high-risk older adults). However, the pages required fairly high-level reading skills and had limited cultural sensitivity. These factors make the pages unsuitable for diverse Internet users.
Farmers’ markets are community health promotion interventions that increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. As farmers’ markets continue to develop, it is important to strategically locate them in settings that are accessible to populations disparately affected by health disparities. One potential setting is a community health center. The goal of this analysis is to extend existing research on community readiness to identify indicators of preparedness among community health centers for establishing onsite farmers’ markets. The sampling frame for the readiness assessment included all community health centers in South Carolina (N = 20) representing 163 practice sites. Data collection included two brief online surveys, in-depth key informant interviews, and secondary analysis of contextual data. Five themes related to readiness for establishing a farmers market at a community health center were identified: capacity, social capital, awareness of health problems and solutions, logistical factors, and sustainability. Findings from this study provide guidance to researchers and community health center staff as they explore the development of environmental interventions focused on reducing diet-related health conditions by improving access to healthy foods.
Community health center; Federally qualified health center; Obesity; Farmers’ market; Community readiness