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Ethn Dis. 2004 Summer;14(3 Suppl 1):S70-6.

Using focus groups to understand health-related practices and perceptions of African Americans: Nashville REACH 2010 preliminary findings.

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Department of Surgery, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA.


To gain an understanding of health-related practices and perceptions, Nashville REACH 2010 conducted focus studies among 5 community groups. Attitudes about health, personal risk behaviors, quality of health care, and models of personal behavior change were assessed. All focus-group sessions were transcribed and analyzed using a consensus panel methodology. A combined analysis of the focus groups revealed 3 categories of barriers to healthier living: 1) personal, 2) environmental, and 3) systemic. Personal barriers included lack of adequate finances, physical limitations, lack of knowledge, and stress. Environmental barriers were related to the unavailability of healthy food choices and adequate places to exercise in the community. The accessibility and quality of health care were the most pervasive systemic barriers identified. Though these findings are not novel to urban African-American communities, they will serve as the framework by which Nashville REACH 2010 will implement strategies to reduce and, ultimately, eliminate cardiovascular disease and diabetes disparities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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