Browsing jGPHA Volume 1, Number 2 (2007) by Title
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Health Literacy Levels Among Adult Support Group Members and the General Adult Public : A Focus Group ApproachHealth literacy has been identified as lacking in 47% of Americans (The National Academies, 2004). While health literacy reports of studies conducted in the southern section of the United States are available (DeWalt et al., 2004; Kennen et al. 2005), this research team found limited research that provides health literacy levels of the southeast, rural Georgia population. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine and compare health literacy of health-related support group members and non group members in southeast Georgia utilizing a focus group methodology developed by Kreuger (1994). After Institutional Review Board approval at a local university, the research team utilized 5- 10 established Health-related Support Groups of 6-10 individuals in the southeastern part of the United States. An additional four focus groups composed of persons not associated with a health-related support group were also used for comparative purposes. Participants were recruited with the assistance of local health care providers. The initial open-ended questions consisted of items such as: “Describe your experience reading health resources.” "What makes a health resource difficult to read, as well as easy to read?" The moderator utilized additional probing questions and reframing comments as necessary (Kreuger, 1994). The data were analyzed by the qualitative content analysis method described by Berg (1989). The themes that emerged across groups reflected confusion about medication directions, health terms, and communication from health care providers and doubt about the integrity of and inability to read the small print of health information. Prevention and faith in God were identified as important to self-care. Rationales for themes and future research ideas are discussed.
Infant Mortality Trends among Georgia Residents, 1995 – 2003: Targeting Healthy People’s 2010 GoalsPopulation-based trends in infant mortality among Georgia Residents between 1995 and 2003 were assessed on characteristics such as race, birth weight, neonatal and post-neonatal periods, and cause of death. A statistical analysis was conducted to show that the Georgia infant mortality rate (IMR) remained constant throughout the study period and averaged 8.67 per 1,000 live births. The analysis revealed racial disparities, with an IMR ranging from 6.03 in white infants to 13.76 in black infants, with less than one percent (0.86%) change, on average, among the differences between black and white mortality rates across the nine-year period. The disparities were also evident in infants with low birth weight (LBW) and very low birth weight (VLBW). Black infants born with LBW (12.9%) and VLBW (9.98%) have more than twice the rate of infant mortality compared to white infants born with LBW (6.64%) and VLBW (1.12%). Mortality in the neonatal period accounted for more than half (67.96%) of all infant deaths and exhibited considerable ethnic differences. Among all groups, black male neonates (10.7) have the highest mortality rates. The average neonatal mortality rate across the entire study period is 5.89 (SD=0.20); the average postneonatal mortality rate across the entire study period is 2.78 (SD=0.22). The five leading causes of death among Georgian infants in descending order were: birth defects, prematurity and low birth weight, Sudden Unexplained Infant Deaths (SUID), other perinatal conditions and respiratory conditions with racial differences in the ordering.
Risk Factors for HIV Transmission among Hispanic Men Who Have Sex with Men in AtlantaThis study assessed and compared demographic factors, psychosocial factors, health seeking behavior, and sexual practices of two convenience samples of Hispanic/Latino gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) in the metropolitan Atlanta region. The aim was to obtain data on emerging HIV/AIDS patterns in this group. Bilingual surveys were conducted in 2000 and 2006 at local gay bars. Discrepancies observed between HIV/AIDS knowledge and sexual behaviors in 2000 were replicated in 2006. Contrary to expected improvements due to enhanced HIV/AIDS education and awareness, risk behavior for HIV/STDs increased significantly between 2000 and 2006. These findings should inform the design and delivery of programs aimed at meeting the HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment needs of this growing population.