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Health Promot Pract. 2006 Jul;7(3 Suppl):213S-22S. Epub 2006 Jun 7.

A community-based participatory health information needs assessment to help eliminate diabetes information disparities.

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  • 1REACH 2010 Charleston and Georgetown Diabetes Coalition, Department of Library Science and Informatics, Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.


This article describes the participatory research process, results, action plan, and implications of the community health information needs assessment conducted within the African American community in two South Carolina counties. The REACH 2010: Charleston and Georgetown Diabetes Coalition library program is a partnership among community organizations, public and health sciences libraries, and lay community health advisors. A planning committee studied digital divide issues related to health information, designed and implemented a survey, held focus groups, analyzed data, identified needs and assets, and formulated an action plan to increase the dissemination of diabetes information. Key survey findings show that older (older than 60) and less educated (fewer than 12 years of education) African Americans in Charleston and Georgetown counties lack skills to access Internet and library services and suffer disparities in health information. Based on assessment evidence, the community plans to increase Internet access points and provide a train-the-trainer program to teach people skills for using Internet and library resources to get high-quality information about diabetes and its complications. This process taps community resources, builds local capacities and technical skills, educates about health, and empowers participants as active partners in their own health and their community's health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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