Community-based studies suggest that most blacks are unaware of symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or related cardiovascular morbidity. The primary objective is to develop a tailored sleep health education (TASHE) program using a multi-level, community-engaged approach. We will use focus groups themes to develop culturally and linguistically tailored (1) OSA health brochures and (2) role-model stories. We will incorporate those themes in (3) an interactive website with OSA health content for lay people. This will also serve as a platform facilitating exchange of information between sleep scientists, community health providers, potential patients, and lay health advisors. We will seek endorsement of TASHE materials by healthcare providers and stakeholders to ensure their adoption and dissemination. The secondary objective is to evaluate TASHE's effectiveness in increasing OSA health literacy among blacks. Blacks in randomized exposure sites (n=10) will have access to all three levels of TASHE materials. Blacks in control sites (n=10) will only receive standard sleep literature. Project sites will include black-owned barbershops, beauty salons, and faith-based organizations;these are traditional safe-haven and cultural epicenters where social norms and public opinions about health in black communities are often shaped. A well-qualified team comprising experts in sleep medicine, behavioral and health education sciences, and social marketing from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York School of Medicine, and Columbia University will investigate the following aims: 1) to identify barriers limiting adoption of recommended healthful sleep practices through focus groups with blacks frequenting barbershops, beauty salons, and faith-based organizations;2) to develop and refine TASHE materials using serial focus groups with (a) blacks frequenting participating study sites, (b) community healthcare providers, and (c) community stakeholders;3) to ascertain TASHE's effectiveness in increasing OSA health literacy by comparing blacks exposed to TASHE materials vs. those exposed to standard sleep health literature. If effective, the project will provide empirical support for wide- scale use of TASHE as a multi-level, community-engaged approach to enhance OSA health literacy among blacks. There are 31,000 black barbershops and churches across the United States that could use this non- traditional model of sleep health promotion. The long-term goal is to use this infrastructure to disseminate evidence-based healthful sleep practices.
This collaborative research project will develop a community-based infrastructure to support implementation of translational and dissemination research in sleep health and circadian rhythm. It will generate culturally and linguistically tailored sleep health messages to increase sleep health literacy among blacks. It is anchored by an equitable partnership between academicians and community stakeholders to ensure adoption and dissemination of tailored sleep health messages.