Community and School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policy Assessment

Investigators: Zenong Yin, Department of Kinesiology, UTSA; Amelie Ramirez, Institute for Health Promotion, UTHSCSA

We will conduct an environmental scan of community and school based nutrition and physical activity policies, which affect children (0-18 years old) in San Antonio. Methods will include examining archival data and conducting key informant and opinion leader surveys. Results will be compared with other communities across the U.S. to determine opportunities and challenges for improving nutrition and physical activity policy development in San Antonio, Texas.

Breast Cancer in Selected South Texas Counties

Investigators: Thankam Sunil, Department of Sociology, UTSA; Thelma Hurd, UTHSCSA

Given the higher prevalence and mortality related to breast cancer among women in border counties of Texas, this study will target three poor counties in this region. These include Maverick (Eagle Pass), Val Verde (Del Rio) and Webb (Laredo) counties. The agencies include Winter Garden, Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Gateway Community Health Center. We have on-going research collaborations with these community agencies and cancer hospitals. Following are the major objectives of the project:

  1. To understand the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of breast cancer prevention behaviors among Hispanic women.
  2. To understand the correlation between family history and the risk of breast cancer among Hispanic women.
  3. To understand the attitude towards genetic testing for the risk of breast cancer among Hispanic women.

The present study is in addition to the on-going effort to build infrastructure capacity through the participation of local communities and grass-root community organizations.

Understanding and Addressing Vaccination Disparities in South Texas

Investigators: Lloyd Potter, Department of Demography, UTSA; Bradley Pollack, UTHSCSA

To address the disparities in vaccination, a proposed plan of research will identify modifiable factors associated with differential rates of vaccination across Hispanic and non-Hispanic ethnicities in the United States using secondary data sources. Then, primary data will be collected from key informant interviews and focus groups to identify barriers and motivators for vaccination among Hispanic groups. The findings from these analyses will be utilized to propose strategies to improve vaccination rates among Hispanic groups. These proposed strategies will then be assessed for feasibility through key informant interviews and focus groups.

AIM 1: Identify factors associated with differences in immunization rates between ethnic groups with a regional focus on the Southwestern United States.
Conduct secondary analyses of data from the National Health Interview Survey, the National Immunization Survey, and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to identify potentially modifiable factors associated with ethnic (Hispanic/non-Hispanic) immunization differentials of vaccination for influenza, pneumococcal disease, tetanus, shingles, and human papillomavirius.

AIM 2: Identify perceived barriers and potential motivators for immunization among Hispanic persons in South Texas.
Based on findings from AIM 1, develop and administer a protocol to collect information about barriers and potential motivators for immunization from Hispanic persons with higher propensity to not be vaccinated in greater San Antonio.

AIM 3: Develop and assess feasibility of potential intervention targets and strategies for increasing immunization rates among Hispanics in South Texas.
Based on findings from AIM 2, develop at least two intervention strategies and implementation protocols to improve immunization among Hispanic persons with higher propensity to not be vaccinated in greater San Antonio.

Assess the feasibility of the strategies and implementation protocols through qualitative methods (i.e. key informant interviews and focus groups).

AIM 4: Develop a proposal to test one or more of the immunization intervention trial for improving prevalence of immunization in target populations.

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