Hampton University: CVD Among Rural African American Men using the Jackson Heart Study
A preponderance of research addresses disparities, among rural African American males, through urban poor, socio-economically disadvantaged paradigms. Generally, African American males are designated “hard to reach” and “not utilizing health care,” with most challenges assigned to historical perspectives. With society’s evolution, many barriers have transformed into different forms in our rural and urban settings. The rural setting mirrors different levels and scales of barriers and challenges to health services utilization and self-health promotion. This research looks at dynamics and causal pathways of disparities in cardio-vascular disease (CVD) – hypertension, stroke, and heart disease – among rural African American males.
The specific aims are to determine:
Aim 1: How African American males in rural settings make decisions when a symptom is identified, or in utilizing CVD screening services.
Aim 2: In what way technology helps buffer some physical and logistical challenges African American males encounter in rural settings, and how they address these challenges.
Aim 3: How much stigma attached to African American males in urban settings, impacts service utilization, satisfaction, self-efficacy and decision making in rural settings.
This study challenges current paradigms on poverty and resource poor environments. Researchers examine the idea that being poor constitutes a challenge to health and other services access for disease prevention, care utilization and health promotion. It is proposed that: (1). regardless of income level, access to care also depends on environmental resources available on an in-time basis, and (2). perception of access, thus self-efficacy, also depends on cultural sensitivity and competence of service systems in addressing perceptions of subliminal stigma and exclusion that inform decision making.
The Center will recruit 800 African American male adults to study the dynamics and causal pathways for disparities in cardio-vascular disease, specifically hypertension, stroke, and heart disease. The study will include a plan, design, and intervention pilot to address key dynamics using a multilevel, community-based pathway intervention research processes applying the ecological model, to study CVD in rural settings. Outcomes will then be compared to the Jackson Heart Study sample, so as to develop a model for addressing health disparities among rural African American males. Finally, the model will be expanded to African American males in rural, Virginia.