CHER is advancing science in the field at 2021 APHA

CHER at APHA 2021

Three abstracts on research and evaluation at CHER have been accepted for oral and poster presentations at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) annual meeting.  This year’s meeting will be help both virtually and in person in Denver, Colorado on October 24-27, 2021.  In line with the meeting’s theme of "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Social Connectedness", one abstract highlights findings from the Community Wellness Program, a project funded by the California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity that harnesses the power of culture and community to address mental health disparities among Cambodian immigrants and refugees. Read more about the accepted abstracts below:

Using Community-defined Practices to Decrease Symptoms of Trauma among Cambodian Refugees in Long Beach and Santa Ana, CA reports findings from the evaluation of the Community Wellness Program, a California Reducing Disparities Project funded by the California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity. Findings from baseline follow-up surveys revealed a statistically significant decrease in trauma symptoms at 3-month follow-up, which continued to decrease at 6 months.  No change was observed between the first and second baseline, indicating that a decrease in trauma symptoms may be attributed to program participation. This highlights the importance of culturally-relevant and community-defined practices to improve mental health among Cambodians and other communities of color. (virtual oral presentation)

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Multi-unit Housing as a Health Equity Issue highlights findings from surveys conducted door to door to learn about tenants’ perspective on cigarette smoking, their exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS), risk of worsening health conditions due to SHS, and their support of smoke-free multi-unit housing (MUH) policies. Findings revealed that almost 40% of respondents experienced smoke drifting into their homes, either from outside or from a neighboring unit. Over 80% of respondents lived with children under 18 years of age or with seniors 65 years of age and over and 20.4% of respondents lived with someone whose medical condition worsened because of SHS exposure. These data show that smoke-free MUH policies are needed now more than ever as people are spending more time at home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (poster presentation)

An Intervention to Address Alcohol and Drug Use among Black Men in Los Angeles County during the COVID-19 Lockdown examines adapted Ecological Momentary Assessment brief recall data that was collected as part of an ongoing larger project, PPOWER2 (Peer Promotion of Wellness and Enhanced Linkage to Resources). The purpose of this data collection method was to improve tracking and reporting of substance use and to test the efficacy of an intervention to reduce substance use. From the 94 participants who responded to the text-based assessment, 1181 assessments were collected, with an average of 12.6 assessments per participant. On average, participants reported 1.0 days using drugs in the previous 6 days. Preliminary results suggest a significant effect for condition on the numbers of days participants used drugs. The results support the use of text message-based surveys to assess the peer-led virtual intervention among young Black men in the LA area.