We seek to study the factors associated with rural/urban differences in perceived need for both drug abuse treatment and HIV testing because these are complementary services which could be integrated within formal drug abuse treatment programs or other locations to better meet the needs of African American cocaine users. We focus on perceived need among African American cocaine users because of their low rates of drug abuse treatment and HIV testing nationally as well as their demonstrated low perceived need for drug abuse treatment, high rates of risky sexual behaviors, and aversion to seeking HIV testing at local health departments in our prior research. Given that our prior natural history research did not include any urban areas, we do not know whether the low rates of drug abuse treatment and HIV testing among rural Arkansans are specific to rural residents (e.g., whether there is a disparity in access for rural African Americans) or whether urban African American cocaine users differ in other critical factors. To address these issues, we plan to conduct a community-based mixed methods study of African American cocaine users residing in rural and urban areas of Arkansas. Specifically, we propose a sequential mixed-method design, with qualitative key informant interviews conducted first (30 rural, 30 urban), followed by larger-scale, structured interviews (200 rural, 200 urban) using standardized instruments, pertinent measures from our prior rural health services and HIV research, and newly developed questions based on our initial qualitative work. Respondent-Driven Sampling (RDS), a variant of snowball sampling, will be used to identify and recruit participants. The primary aims of the study are: 1) Using qualitative methods, to describe rural/urban differences in pathways to drug use and drug use cultures, perceptions of access to drug abuse treatment and HIV testing, awareness and perceptions of what constitutes drug abuse treatment and HIV testing, and preferences for formal or informal drug abuse treatment and the site or location of HIV testing;2) Using quantitative and qualitative methods, to compare and contrast rural and urban cocaine users'perceived need for drug abuse treatment and HIV testing and key predisposing, enabling, health, and other factors which could impede or facilitate perceived need;and 3) Using quantitative methods, to investigate whether rural/urban differences in perceived need for drug abuse treatment and HIV testing are mediated by key predisposing, enabling, and health factors as well as treatment and testing awareness and preferences. The knowledge gained from this project will enable health policy makers, treatment program managers, and providers to make more informed decisions about how to encourage and facilitate the utilization of drug abuse treatment and HIV testing among African American cocaine users in the Southern U.S., an underserved and high risk population.

Public Health Relevance

Of public health concern are the low rates of drug abuse treatment and high rates of HIV among African American cocaine users, especially in the Southern U.S. The knowledge gained from the proposed research would enable managers of public and behavioral health systems to make more informed decisions about how to target and tailor culturally sensitive messages aimed at increasing awareness of the benefits of drug abuse treatment and HIV testing. The proposed research would also provide new insight into whether HIV testing should be integrated within drug abuse treatment facilities to better meet the needs of rural as well as urban African American cocaine users.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DA026837-03
Application #
8274834
Study Section
Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
Program Officer
Jones, Dionne
Project Start
2010-07-01
Project End
2012-11-05
Budget Start
2012-07-01
Budget End
2012-11-05
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$138,477
Indirect Cost
$66,698
Name
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
122452563
City
Little Rock
State
AR
Country
United States
Zip Code
72205
Borders, Tyrone F; Booth, Brenda M; Stewart, Katharine E et al. (2015) Rural/urban residence, access, and perceived need for treatment among African American cocaine users. J Rural Health 31:98-107
Borders, Tyrone F; Booth, Brenda M; Curran, Geoffrey M (2015) African American cocaine users' preferred treatment site: variations by rural/urban residence, stigma, and treatment effectiveness. J Subst Abuse Treat 50:26-31
Cheney, Ann M; Curran, Geoffrey M; Booth, Brenda M et al. (2014) The Religious and Spiritual Dimensions of Cutting Down and Stopping Cocaine Use: A Qualitative Exploration Among African Americans in the South. J Drug Issues 44:94-113