Racial disparities in sense of community and health status: implications in community-based participatory interventions targeting chronic disease in African Americans.

Belue R, Taylor-Richardson KD, Lin JM, McClellan L, Hargreaves MK
J Ambul Care Manage. 2006 29 (2): 112-24

PMID: 16552320 · DOI:10.1097/00004479-200604000-00004

This study examined the relation between sense of community (SOC), sociodemographic characteristics, and health status to inform community-based interventions designed to prevent and reduce chronic disease in African Americans. A telephone survey was conducted with 1463 randomly selected residents in Nashville, Tenn. Respondents were majority female (69%), African American (59%), and single (59%), with a mean age of 55 (+/-17.61 years). African Americans have lower overall SOC scores, or lower scores on the domains related to perceived influence over community and sharing of common community values compared to Whites. High rates of chronic disease and low SES, combined with a low SOC, can hinder efforts to reduce and eliminate disparities. The goal of community-based participatory initiatives is to create programs that are sustainable by the target community after the funding is gone. Thus, to maximize the success, uptake, and sustainability of disease-specific interventions, it is imperative to incorporate assessment of SOC, identify factors that depress SOC, and engage in community collaboration to develop a plan to improve SOC.

MeSH Terms (13)

Adult African Americans Chronic Disease Community Networks Data Collection Female Health Status Humans Male Middle Aged Social Class Social Perception United States

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