Asthma patient education opportunities in predominantly minority urban communities.
Disenfranchised ethnic minority communities in the urban United States experience a high burden of asthma. Conventional office-based patient education often is insufficient to promote proper asthma management and coping practices responsive to minority patients' environments. This paper explores existing and alternative asthma information and education sources in three urban minority communities in western New York State to help design other practical educational interventions. Four focus groups (n = 59) and four town hall meetings (n = 109) were conducted in one Hispanic and two black communities. Focus groups included adult asthmatics or caretakers of asthmatics, and town meetings were open to all residents. A critical theory perspective informed the study. Asthma information and education sources, perceptions of asthma and ways of coping were elicited through semi-structured interviews. Data analysis followed a theory-driven immersion-crystallization approach. Several asthma education and information resources from the health care system, media, public institutions and communities were identified. Intervention recommendations highlighted asthma workshops that recognize participants as teachers and learners, offer social support, promote advocacy, are culturally appropriate and community-based and include health care professionals. Community-based, group health education couched on people's experiences and societal conditions offers unique opportunities for patient asthma care empowerment in minority urban communities. (+info)
Social construction and cultural meanings of STI/HIV-related terminology among Nguni-speaking inmates and warders in four South African correctional facilities.
Cultural sensitivity is increasingly recognized as a means to enhance the effectiveness of health promotion programmes all over the world. Sociocultural meanings and terminology of diseases are important in understanding how different groups perceive and interpret illness. This study was conducted as part of the process of developing and adapting a sexually transmitted infection (STI)/HIV peer led health education intervention for soon-to-be-released inmates who were predominantly Nguni speakers in South Africa. Two focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with prison inmates in each of four facilities. Additionally, one FGD was conducted in each prison with non-health trained (custodial) personnel who were Nguni speakers from the same community (n = 27). The data revealed unique terminology and meanings attached to several biomedically defined STIs. These sociocultural constructions were not limited to inmates as findings from warders' discussions showed a similar pattern. Moreover, we found the existence of a number of traditional 'folk' STIs and culture-specific prevention methods. These conceptualizations influence reported health-care-seeking behaviour, where dual consultation of traditional healers and biomedical remedies is widely practiced. The research has biopsychological as well as cultural implications for the development and adaptation of contextually relevant health promotion interventions. (+info)
Understanding physical activity participation in members of an African American church: a qualitative study.
Faith-based interventions hold promise for increasing physical activity (PA) and thereby reducing health disparities. This paper examines the perceived influences on PA participation, the link between spirituality and health behaviors and the role of the church in promoting PA in African Americans. Participants (n = 44) were adult members of African American churches in South Carolina. In preparation for a faith-based intervention, eight focus groups were conducted with sedentary or underactive participants. Groups were stratified by age (<55 years versus >or=55 years), geography and gender. Four general categories were determined from the focus groups: spirituality, barriers, enablers and desired PA programs. Personal, social, community and environmental barriers and enablers were described by both men and women, with no apparent differences by age. Additionally, both men and women mentioned aerobics, walking programs, sports and classes specifically for older adults as PA programs they would like available at church. This study provides useful information for understanding the attitudes and experiences with exercise among African Americans, and provides a foundation for promoting PA through interventions with this population by incorporating spirituality, culturally specific activities and social support within the church. (+info)
Assessing oral literacy demand in genetic counseling dialogue: preliminary test of a conceptual framework.
Health literacy deficits affect half the American patient population and are linked to poor health, ineffective disease management and high rates of hospitalization. Restricted literacy has also been linked with less satisfying medical visits and communication difficulties, particularly in terms of the interpersonal and informational aspects of care. Despite growing attention to these issues by researchers and policy makers, few studies have attempted to conceptualize and assess those aspects of dialogue that challenge persons with low literacy skills, i.e., the oral literacy demand within medical encounters. The current study uses videotapes and transcripts of 152 prenatal and cancer pretest genetic counseling sessions recorded with simulated clients to develop a conceptual framework to explore oral literacy demand and its consequences for medical interaction and related outcomes. Ninety-six prenatal and 81 cancer genetic counselors-broadly representative of the US National Society of Genetic Counselors-participated in the study. Key elements of the conceptual framework used to define oral literacy demand include: (1) use of unfamiliar technical terms; (2) general language complexity, reflected in the application of Microsoft Word grammar summary statistics to session transcripts; and, (3) structural characteristics of dialogue, including pacing, density, and interactivity. Genetic counselor outcomes include self-ratings of session satisfaction, informativeness, and development of rapport. The simulated clients rated their satisfaction with session communication, the counselor's effective use of nonverbal skills, and the counselor's affective demeanor during the session. Sessions with greater overall technical term use were longer and used more complex language reflected in readability indices and multi-syllabic vocabulary (measures averaging p<.05). Sessions with a high proportionate use of technical terms were characterized by shorter visits, high readability demand, slow speech speed, fewer and more dense counselor speaking turns and low interactivity (p<.05). The higher the use of technical terms, and the more dense and less interactive the dialogue, the less satisfied the simulated clients were and the lower their ratings were of counselors' nonverbal effectiveness and affective demeanor (all relationships p<.05). Counselors' self-ratings of informativeness were also inversely related to use of technical terms (p<.05). Just as print material can be made more reader-friendly and effective following established guidelines, the medical dialogue may also be made more patient-centered and meaningful by having providers monitor their vocabulary and language, as well as the structural characteristics of interaction, thereby lowering the literacy demand of routine medical dialogue. These consequences are important for all patients but may be even more so for patients with restricted literacy. (+info)
Health education in rural settings in Ghana: a methodological approach.
Although the search for appropriate methodology in educating and training rural community populations is on going, previous efforts have yielded few results, some of which have not been successful with consequences for scarce resources. This paper, based on field reports from the Population Communication Project in Ghana, demonstrates that community learning theory can offer understanding of appropriate methodology in rural learning, education and training. The report shows steps used in educating people in Wusuta (a rural community) on health and environmental issues in the community using a mix of traditional and modern approaches. The result shows that the community internalized learning activity and were able to relate their learning experiences to existing traditional values and the need for action. The paper thus offers the method as a solution to rural population training and learning methodology. (+info)
Reminder cards and immunization rates among Latinos and the rural poor in Northeast Colorado.
OBJECTIVE: Immunization rates are static in the United States. Risk factors for not being up to date (UTD) include ethnicity and lower socioeconomic status. Reminder cards increase immunization rates in urban settings. Their effect in poor, Latino, and rural children is unknown. BACKGROUND: Language-appropriate reminder cards were sent to active patients not UTD listing the vaccines missing; the card served as the physician order for the vaccine. Missed opportunities were addressed through discussion with staff and posters in patient care rooms. UTD rates before and after intervention were measured. RESULTS: Dual-purpose reminder/order cards increased the rate of UTD from 61.3% to 73.4%; children living near the clinic, patients who speak only Spanish, and Latinos overall showed preferential effectiveness. Children eligible to participate in the Vaccines for Children program had similar increases in UTD rates but had lower baseline and final UTD rates than did children not eligible for the Vaccines for Children program. The rate of missed opportunities did not change. The number of children to whom reminder cards needed to be sent for them to become fully immunized is 8 (number needed to treat). CONCLUSIONS: In poor, rural, and Latino populations, language-appropriate reminder/order cards increase immunization rates. (+info)
Barriers beyond words: cancer, culture, and translation in a community of Russian speakers.
BACKGROUND: Language and culture relate in complex ways. Addressing this complexity in the context of language translation is a challenge when caring for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). OBJECTIVE: To examine processes of care related to language, culture and translation in an LEP population is the objective of this study. DESIGN: We used community based participatory research to examine the experiences of Russian-speaking cancer patients in San Francisco, California. A Russian Cancer Information Taskforce (RCIT), including community-based organizations, local government, and clinics, participated in all phases of the study. PARTICIPANTS: A purposeful sample of 74 individuals were the participants of the study. APPROACH: The RCIT shaped research themes and facilitated access to participants. Methods were focus groups, individual interviews, and participant observation. RCIT reviewed data and provided guidance in interpreting results. RESULTS: Four themes emerged. (1) Local Russian-language resources were seen as inadequate and relatively unavailable compared to other non-English languages; (2) a taboo about the word "cancer" led to language "games" surrounding disclosure; (3) this taboo, and other dynamics of care, reflected expectations that Russian speakers derived from experiences in their countries of origin; (4) using interpreters as cultural brokers or establishing support groups for Russian speakers could help address barriers. CONCLUSIONS: The language barriers experienced by this LEP population reflect cultural and linguistic issues. Providers should consider partnering with trained interpreters to address the intertwining of language and culture. (+info)
The impact of an enhanced interpreter service intervention on hospital costs and patient satisfaction.
BACKGROUND: Many health care providers do not provide adequate language access services for their patients who are limited English-speaking because they view the costs of these services as prohibitive. However, little is known about the costs they might bear because of unaddressed language barriers or the costs of providing language access services. OBJECTIVE: To investigate how language barriers and the provision of enhanced interpreter services impact the costs of a hospital stay. DESIGN: Prospective intervention study. SETTING: Public hospital inpatient medicine service. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred twenty-three adult inpatients: 124 Spanish-speakers whose physicians had access to the enhanced interpreter intervention, 99 Spanish-speakers whose physicians only had access to usual interpreter services, and 100 English-speakers matched to Spanish-speaking participants on age, gender, and admission firm. MEASUREMENTS: Patient satisfaction, hospital length of stay, number of inpatient consultations and radiology tests conducted in the hospital, adherence with follow-up appointments, use of emergency department (ED) services and hospitalizations in the 3 months after discharge, and the costs associated with provision of the intervention and any resulting change in health care utilization. RESULTS: The enhanced interpreter service intervention did not significantly impact any of the measured outcomes or their associated costs. The cost of the enhanced interpreter service was $234 per Spanish-speaking intervention patient and represented 1.5% of the average hospital cost. Having a Spanish-speaking attending physician significantly increased Spanish-speaking patient satisfaction with physician, overall hospital experience, and reduced ED visits, thereby reducing costs by $92 per Spanish-speaking patient over the study period. CONCLUSION: The enhanced interpreter service intervention did not significantly increase or decrease hospital costs. Physician-patient language concordance reduced return ED visit and costs. Health care providers need to examine all the cost implications of different language access services before they deem them too costly. (+info)