Racial disparities in maternal and child health (MCH) populations are the most strikingly persistent in the United States, representing one of the compelling reasons Healthy People 2020 made MCH a priority issue of national importance. Since the root causes of MCH disparities are multi-factorial, community-based participatory research (CBPR) offers a unique opportunity to address effectively MCH disparity issues because of its emphasis on the utility of ecological perspectives that take into account the multiple determinants of health. This strategy synchs with the multi-dimensional and multi-domain approach inherent in the Life Course Perspective (LCP) theory that is the dominant paradigm in disparity research within the MCH population. Using LCP as theoretical framework and CBPR as strategy, MCH disparity issues in Central Tampa (Florida) neighborhoods will be addressed in this project taking advantage of our solid and fruitful community-university partnership that is characterized by a growing social capital, a strong presence in the community, and visible achievements in improving maternal and child health within the community. Accordingly, community needs assessment and asset mapping will be conducted using focus groups, intercept interviews and secondary data that encompass qualitative, quantitative and economic;data. With input from other community partners, the community advisory board (CAB) will apply proven strategies to select the MCH priority took;as well as the evidence-based intervention to be adopted. The pilot intervention will be implemented using efficient recruitment and retention strategies as well as innovative approaches that enhance fidelity and acceptability. A realistic and scientifically rigorous evaluation plan to ensure reliale and valid assessment of feasibility, acceptability and sustainability potential across socio-cultural, strategic and economic domains is proposed. The incorporation of economic data and cost analysis in our proposal is novel and will address persistent needs in the community for affordable interventions. The training of community members in the application of cheap and easy to use GIS-rapid needs assessment hybrid in intercept interviews is innovative and will potentially contribute to community capital and sustainability.
This project utilizes a community-based participatory research approach to select and address a disparity issue of concern to the community within the maternal and child health populations in a socio-economically disadvantaged setting. We believe that through the various phases outlined in the proposal, the community will apply an appropriate and efficient strategy that will lead to successful implementation and evaluation of the selected intervention that holds promise of reducing the wide disparity in this vulnerable population.